Dysthymia or Chronic Depression

Posted by meeta @meeta, Jul 6, 2011

My mom is suffering from dysthymia..thats what the doctor said.Can someone help me and let me know how I can help my mom.

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Hi Meeta,
You are so compassionate for trying to help your mom. I am a (child) psychologist and can tell you the single-most important thing for your mom’s recovery will be professional help. Since she has seen a doctor, it sounds like she is already accessing help of some kind. Hopefully they will get her connected to the necessary professionals who can help her. In my experience it’s usually the combination of medication and therapy that are most effective in overcoming dysthymia and/or depression. Bear in mind that this condition did not develop overnight and, likewise, it will take time to treat. However, the important thing to remember is that it IS treatable. Just be patient and most importantly for you, don’t blame yourself or allow your life to become defined by your mom’s condition. Hang in there, sweetie, and just know that things will get better.

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@derbyfever

Hi Meeta,
You are so compassionate for trying to help your mom. I am a (child) psychologist and can tell you the single-most important thing for your mom’s recovery will be professional help. Since she has seen a doctor, it sounds like she is already accessing help of some kind. Hopefully they will get her connected to the necessary professionals who can help her. In my experience it’s usually the combination of medication and therapy that are most effective in overcoming dysthymia and/or depression. Bear in mind that this condition did not develop overnight and, likewise, it will take time to treat. However, the important thing to remember is that it IS treatable. Just be patient and most importantly for you, don’t blame yourself or allow your life to become defined by your mom’s condition. Hang in there, sweetie, and just know that things will get better.

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This link will give you more information on dysthymia. I hope you find it helpful.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dysthymia/DS01111

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I have suffered with major depression for years and I have a son & daughter. The one thing I can say to you, because I don’t receive enough of this from my daughter, is to listen to her, research all you can about depression, be supportive and understanding. If she isn’t alreaqdy, she needs to be followed by a psychiatrist and a therapist. These have helped me tremendously.

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@derbyfever

Hi Meeta,
You are so compassionate for trying to help your mom. I am a (child) psychologist and can tell you the single-most important thing for your mom’s recovery will be professional help. Since she has seen a doctor, it sounds like she is already accessing help of some kind. Hopefully they will get her connected to the necessary professionals who can help her. In my experience it’s usually the combination of medication and therapy that are most effective in overcoming dysthymia and/or depression. Bear in mind that this condition did not develop overnight and, likewise, it will take time to treat. However, the important thing to remember is that it IS treatable. Just be patient and most importantly for you, don’t blame yourself or allow your life to become defined by your mom’s condition. Hang in there, sweetie, and just know that things will get better.

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Hi Derby,
Thanks a lot for your suggestions.Very true this condition didn’t develop overnight.Now her mind works faster than her body.She has been having OCD since last many years.All I want her to be is calm..Hopefully all will be fine ..Thanks once again..

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I’d like to add my 2 cents. I recently went through a rather short bout of anxiety and depression. The things that I found the most helpful were understanding and support from my family, and the care of a good psychologist. I was on medication ( a very small dose) for a short time (4 months) and have successfully weaned off the medicaiton (with physician supervision) and am doing much better. I can’t stress enough how much I wish I had started seeing a therapist at the beginning of my depression instead of when things got too tough for me to handle. It would have saved me a lot of sadness. Good luck to you and your mom. It is beatable, and it will get better.

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@smhayd04

I’d like to add my 2 cents. I recently went through a rather short bout of anxiety and depression. The things that I found the most helpful were understanding and support from my family, and the care of a good psychologist. I was on medication ( a very small dose) for a short time (4 months) and have successfully weaned off the medicaiton (with physician supervision) and am doing much better. I can’t stress enough how much I wish I had started seeing a therapist at the beginning of my depression instead of when things got too tough for me to handle. It would have saved me a lot of sadness. Good luck to you and your mom. It is beatable, and it will get better.

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Hi smhayd04, thanks a lot for sharing your your experience.By sharing and learning I get to know more and can help my mom.Wishing you all the best.There is a book (if you would like to read) by Louise.L.Hay “You can heal your life”..Its awesome..
Stay Blessed

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Dear Meeta:
I too suffer from chronic depression. The cause of mine is endogenous, though – I am a survivor of a bleeding brain aneurysm, and i am unresponsive to all antidepressants available on the market, so I’ll be this way the rest of my life. I assume your mom’s depression is exogenous (of external, or psychological origins?) Whatever: read my blog [link below] about my aneurysm experience and my depression – how I feel my brain has adapted to a “different” level of feeling, eventually, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. I hardly notice my own depressions.
If your mom’s dysthymia IS long-lasting, like mine, I predict her brain, too, will adapt to its new way of feeling.
MY BLOG : http://nothingyoucansee.wordpress.com/

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@wilbt

Dear Meeta:
I too suffer from chronic depression. The cause of mine is endogenous, though – I am a survivor of a bleeding brain aneurysm, and i am unresponsive to all antidepressants available on the market, so I’ll be this way the rest of my life. I assume your mom’s depression is exogenous (of external, or psychological origins?) Whatever: read my blog [link below] about my aneurysm experience and my depression – how I feel my brain has adapted to a “different” level of feeling, eventually, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. I hardly notice my own depressions.
If your mom’s dysthymia IS long-lasting, like mine, I predict her brain, too, will adapt to its new way of feeling.
MY BLOG : http://nothingyoucansee.wordpress.com/

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broken link

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In reply to @jamesfawkes "broken link" + (show)
@jamesfawkes

broken link

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Hi, @jamesfawkes – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I believe that the link may be broken because the post you were responding to was written 8 years ago, and things may have changed with the member's blog referenced.

Have you had a diagnosis of dysthymia or chronic depression?

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I have been diagnosed with dysthymia, and have dealt with it for most of my adult life. I have had the benefit of therapy and medication, both of which have made the condition tolerable and manageable. I also have some issues with anxiety, which may or may not be attributed to the dysthymia. My major takeaway from therapy is to understand that you will have down days, some of them major, and you just need to go with it. It is always there, and sometimes in a significant way, but the dark times don’t last. I have had some major depressive episodes thrown in, and having been taught how to cope, and being appropriately medicated has been a great help.

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@elwooodsdad

I have been diagnosed with dysthymia, and have dealt with it for most of my adult life. I have had the benefit of therapy and medication, both of which have made the condition tolerable and manageable. I also have some issues with anxiety, which may or may not be attributed to the dysthymia. My major takeaway from therapy is to understand that you will have down days, some of them major, and you just need to go with it. It is always there, and sometimes in a significant way, but the dark times don’t last. I have had some major depressive episodes thrown in, and having been taught how to cope, and being appropriately medicated has been a great help.

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@elwoodsdad Thank you for letting us know how you are doing. Each person has their own journey, and sometimes it is rocky with other intruding issues. I also have had episodes of depression in my life, but never a formal diagnosis of dysthymia, although I strongly suspect it is there. Do you find a distraction like exercise or hobbies help you when the down days show up? It seems to work for me, usually. How are the holidays this time of year treating you?
Ginger

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Ginger, I have usually soldiered on as well as possible during the difficult days, usually in my own company. I have an understanding wife, and two equally understanding Miniature Schnauzers who are pleased to be either as close or as far away as needed. The holidays are ok, not especially great. I am a 72 year old only child with no children, but we have two great nieces and two great nephews, young enough to glory in the wretched excess of commercial Christmas. I am an Elder in the Presbyterian church, and am working with a congregation of another church which is having some issues. That keeps me grounded, sometimes agitated, and sometimes fulfilled. A difficult calling, but I feel I am making a positive impact on the congregation and pastor. I am not a pastor, but have dealt in dispute resolution for the bulk of my professional life. Church is spiritual, but it is also a business, so my demeanor and vocabulary is decidedly sectarian, and more effective than the pastoral model.

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