Patient Comments: Dysthymia - Symptoms

What were your symptoms of dysthymia?

Comment from: Terri, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

I have dealt with dysthymia since about puberty. Of course, it didn't have a name at the time. I saw a psychologist who finally nailed that one after an extensive (what seemed like hundreds of questions) test that finally put a name to it. I have no reason to be depressed because I have everything I need and have always wanted. I found a great guy who became my husband, we have 3 children, and I have a job as a nurse, so I am never worried that I won't be without a job or that kind of stability. Still, I feel I am in need of additional treatment as this depression still continues. I consistently exercise, which I do think helps, but isn't enough. I hate being reliant on medications, but don't see any other alternative. Oh, I am currently on Pristiq. In the past, I have been on other meds, mostly SSRI's. This is the first SNRI. I also was on bupropion but my husband noted it made my memory terrible and me very irritable, so that was stopped.

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Comment from: No Longer Blue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I am 45 and I have been successfully treated for dysthymia which started when I began to go into puberty. I used to feel sad and even when I felt sort of OK, everything was an effort. My thinking was negative. Socially I was sort of paranoid, very insecure, because of the negative thinking and chronically down mood. I lived under a cloud. I was able to function and I graduated from college this way but life was always very hard. After college when I started an SSRI antidepressant it was like turning a key in a lock. Everything just changed. The world had colors and I could begin to think differently. Over the years the negative thought habits went away, I benefitted greatly from therapy because my thoughts were clearer. More than half my life has now been spent with this problem being in remission. Every now and then it peeks out at me to remind me how lucky I am to be well. I will always take the medication. All I have to do to start to slip is miss some doses. Life is wonderful today! I would encourage anyone with a chronic low mood and feelings of hopelessness to get help. Life can be beautiful and you can be well!

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Comment from: blueskiestoday, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I was a happy child, but when I was 13 my mother died of cancer. One month later I started my period. I was extremely depressed after the death of my mother but all through my teens the depression would not lift. I experienced a need to sleep a lot, low self-esteem socially and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness on a regular basis. I went to many therapists to heal from what I thought was solely a reaction to my mother's death. Then at the age of 27 after 5 years of marriage, I had my first child. I slipped into the worst depression imaginable that involved hospitalization twice. I didn't start to feel somewhat normal again for 6 months. The psychiatrist prescribed medication for me which I only took for very short periods as I was convinced again that somehow this all related to the hole my mother's death left in my life. I continued on with this chronic low-grade depression that I accepted as just part of my life. I started to see a pattern in my depression related to my menstrual cycle. Some parts of the month I would consistently feel worse than others. This was the beginning of the realization for me that maybe this had something to do with my brain's reaction to my hormones. At 35 years of age, I felt ready to give medication a try . I could not believe the difference! I was more energetic, easy-going and confident in the social arena. I have been on medication now for 12 years. I now realize that the cause of my depression is more physiological than environmental. I discovered that it runs in my family. My mother had low-grade depression and my brother has it too.

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Comment from: bluebell, 35-44 Female Published: October 24

My symptoms of dysthymia were always feeling "blue". It's hard to describe. The best way I can describe it, is like "treading water". I'm not really sad, but I'm not having a good day either. Just hanging in there, getting through the day ... which is every day. I hope this helps someone in recognizing the symptoms of dysthymia in them or a loved one.

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Comment from: Liz, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I have never been happy, however within the past couple of years I had a major depression caused by the death of my father and some health issues with myself. It was very difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Probably the most difficult thing I did all day! Then, when talking with a psychiatrist (which I had to beg another doc for the referral), I realized I had not been happy since I was 17 years old. This had been a chronic thing. Although worse now, I have started medication and hope it will help stabilize me. As I look back, this runs in my family, as my uncle and grandfather both had symptoms that I have. This proves to me it is some chemical issue. I am glad to finally be diagnosed, since I am now 43 years old. I try to focus on the future instead of the past, because the wasted time would devastate me. Good luck to everyone, and include me in the luck and prayers!! We all deserve a good life!

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Dysthymia - Diagnosis Question: How was your dysthymia diagnosed?
Dysthymia - Causes Question: What caused your dysthymia?
Dysthymia - Psychotherapy Question: If you have depression (dysthymia), have you tried psychotherapy? Please share your experience.
Dysthymia - Antidepressants Question: Please discuss your experience with any medications you've been prescribed for depression (dysthymia).
Dysthymia - Additional Support Question: Besides medication and talk therapy, what other ways have helped you deal with dysthymia?

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