Dysthymic Disorder is a relatively new way to understand a particular type of depressive behavior. There are 7 million Americans for whom the sun will not come up tomorrow. They will not bet their bottom dollar. They have no silver lining playbook. They can see no upside to their problems. These people live in a depressive fog and possess little resilience. They suffer from a treatable, but often ignore medical condition called Dysthymic Disorder.
But dysthymia is treatable, so there is no reason not to seek help. Someone with chronic low grade persistent depression will experience a minimum of two of the following symptoms:. For a diagnosis of dysthymia there must be a level of impairment or distress related to work, school, or social functioning. Also, the disorder cannot be the result of a medical condition that might cause low mood, or a substance addiction.
Treatment for dysthymia is basically the same as for major depressive disorder. This involves a two-pronged approach including psychotherapy and SSRIs, or antidepressants. The psychotherapy that has netted the best results for patients with major depression is cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. CBT is a short-term therapy that helps depressed patients pinpoint negative thought patterns that result in persistent sadness or despair.
Dysthymia, sometimes referred to as mild, chronic depression, is less severe and has fewer symptoms than major depression. With dysthymia, the depression symptoms can linger for a long period of. Oct 04, Because dysthymia is a long-term disorder, CBT can be very helpful in changing entrenched negative thought patterns and focusing patients toward constructive behaviors or responses. Another benefit of TMS therapy for treating major depression or dysthymia is its effectiveness in also treating co-occurring anxiety disorder. Oct 03, Dysthymia is a chronic, muted form of depression that spreads a dark cloud of hopelessness, negativity, and pessimism. Your spouse may experience you as critical, unmotivated, chronically complaining, and perpetually exhausted. People diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder describe themselves as profoundly dissatisfied and pessimistic.
By helping patients shift their thoughts toward more positive, constructive thoughts it helps change brain chemistry as well as overall attitude for the better. These drugs work to modify brain chemistry, especially targeting neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. While antidepressants can work effectively for most patients with depression or dysthymia, a significant percentage of them are found to be medication resistant.
These patients may have trialed three or four different drugs, or had the drug dosage adjusted, or a period of several months but just could not find a successful result with any of them. Some patients discontinue drug therapy when adverse effects, such as weight gain, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, or sexual dysfunction, become intolerable. Patients who are medication resistant become frustrated and hopeless as a result of the inability to find relief from symptoms.
Some will give up trying, while others forge on to seek alternative remedies for their dysthymia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS is a safe, noninvasive treatment intervention for medication resistant patients with persistent depressive disorder. TMS was FDA approved in for this purpose, and in the last decade has brought relief to thousands.
TMS therapy offers an alternative treatment option for people who have to date been unsuccessful in finding an effective treatment for their dysthymia. The repetitive magnetic pulses create electrical currents in the brain tissue, reaching about 2 centimeters into the brain. As a result, the electrical currents then stimulate the dormant neurotransmitters to recalibrate brain chemistry that has been out of balance.
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A course of TMS therapy typically lasts about weeks, with each therapy session lasting 37 minutes. Over the course of treatment, patients will begin to notice improvements in symptoms after the tenth treatment session.
In the ensuing weeks, the patient may notice they are getting better quality sleep. They may begin to feel more energized. Many patients notice they are more focused and can concentrate better. By the end of the treatment period, overall mood is improved as well.
TMS is well tolerated, with few side effects reported. Some patients have reported mild headaches or scalp tenderness, but these effects tend to resolve on their own as treatments continue.
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