What Is Chronic Depression?

Here in this post, we are providing “What Is Chronic Depression?. You can discuss your concerns about mental health in our community, and we will provide you with tips and solutions in a short time. Keep visiting Mental Health.

Chronic Depression

Chronic depression is characterized by a depressed mood that occurs for most of the day. Someone with chronic depression might feel this way for more days than not, possibly for years on end.

What is Chronic Depression?
What is Chronic Depression?

Major depressive disorder vs Chronic depression

Major depressive disorder is distinct from chronic depression. It’s a mental illness whose signs might last for up to two years. Chronic depression, however less severe than a major depressive disorder (MDD), is still a significant mental illness.

Depression, also known as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder (PDD), is defined as a poor mood that lasts most of the day. The good news is that chronic depression is treatable and manageable with a variety of therapy choices.

 Symptoms

Chronic depression shares many symptoms with major depressive disorder. Chronic depression, on the other hand, is characterized by symptoms that persist for a prolonged period of time.

The criteria for diagnosing persistent depression are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Chronic depression can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • A depressed mood for most of the day, almost every day
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy levels
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Having a poor appetite or overeating

You may notice that your symptoms are more severe at times and less severe at others.

For some people, chronic depression makes it impossible to function. You may find it difficult to socialize and establish relationships, which may have an impact on your career or school life.

For an adult to be diagnosed with chronic depression, symptoms must last at least two years, whereas symptoms in adolescents and teens must last one year.

A person with persistent depression may also have a major depressive episode. This is referred to as “double depression.” You may experience suicidal thoughts if you have double depression.

If you’re considering self-harm or suicide, you’re not alone. Feel free to contact us. Our psychologist will help you as soon as possible. Contact us at https://mentalhealth.com.pk/

Causes

Chronic depression has yet to be determined, and additional research is required. A number of variables, according to experts, can lead to the development of chronic depression, including:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Biological changes in the brain
  • Traumatic life events

Treatment

For many people, chronic depression goes untreated. Because the symptoms of chronic depression might be subtle but persistent, a person suffering from it may believe it is simply a part of their nature that cannot be addressed.

There are, however, a variety of treatments for chronic depression that may be able to help you feel better.

Talk therapy

Psychotherapy, often known as talk therapy, is the first-line treatment for chronic depression and other mental illnesses.

Several types of talk therapy can be beneficial, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • The cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP)
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
  • Psychodynamic therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is intended to assist you in recognizing cognitive distortions.

The cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP)

CBASP is a modern type of therapy developed exclusively for chronic depression.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT is concerned with social concerns and interpersonal connections.

Psychodynamic therapy

This type of treatment looks back in time to discover the source of your issues.

Medications

To help alleviate your symptoms, your doctor or psychiatrist may prescribe medication.
Selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as fluoxetine, are commonly used to treat chronic depression.

  • Fluoxetine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Venlafaxine

If you’ve been prescribed medication, follow the directions carefully. Stopping the drug without your doctor’s permission can be risky.

Supplements

Supplements may be beneficial if you’re suffering from chronic depression. Before starting a new supplement, you should talk to your doctor.

The following supplements may help with the symptoms of chronic depression:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

Vitamin D: Per a 2018 journal article, vitamin D deficiencies are associated with depression.

Omega-3 fatty acids:  review published in 2015 suggests omega-3 fatty acid supplements might help reduce depressive symptoms; however, more research is still needed

N-acetylcysteine (NAC): literature review from 2016 suggests that NAC might help improve symptoms.

If you’re curious about what supplements can do for your depression, speaking with your doctor before trying one can help you gather more information and figure out if it’s good for you.

Self-help strategies

Certain self-help strategies might help you feel better.

Firstly, getting support is a great start. You might find it helpful to reach out to supportive loved ones. Support groups can also be helpful.

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According to a 2019 study, exercising may help to alleviate the physical consequences of depression. Starting with as little as 10 minutes each day can be beneficial. Consider engaging in enjoyable forms of exercise to lift your spirits.

Sleeping too much or too little might be a symptom of depression. This might lead to a depressed mood and decreased energy levels. Setting a sleep routine and completing soothing exercises before bed will help to slow your brain down.

Journaling or other creative hobbies may also be beneficial in helping you process and express your emotions.

Other treatments

If other therapies for depression aren’t working, your doctor may suggest another option.

Examples include:

  • Light therapy
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Light therapy

Light therapy uses a light therapy box, which could help regulate your sleep cycle and serotonin levels.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

Its a type of brain stimulation therapy that has shown potential in helping people with treatment-resistant depression.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

It’s an effective form of brain stimulation therapy that’s typically prescribed for people with treatment-resistant depression.

Next steps

Although there is no cure for persistent depression, with the correct medication, symptoms can be effectively managed.

Treatment regimens frequently include a combination of:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle modifications

You can feel better by working with your doctor and therapist to create the optimal treatment plan for you.

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