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What’s Persistent Depressive Disorder

Key Points About Persistent Depressive Disorder In Children

What is Persistent Depressive Disorder (Formerly Dysthymia)?
  • Persistent depressive disorder is a type of depression. A child with this type of depression has a low, sad, or irritable mood for at least 1 year.

  • There is no single cause of this disorder. Many risk factors, such as the loss of a loved one, can raise a childs risk for it.

  • Some common symptoms are lasting feelings of sadness and sleep problems.

  • A mental health expert such as a psychiatrist often diagnoses this disorder after a mental health evaluation.

  • Treatment includes therapy and medicine.

  • If depression greatly interferes with your childs ability to succeed in school, he or she may be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the ADA or Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act. Talk with your childs teacher or principal for more information.

Which Children Are At Risk For Persistent Depressive Disorder

These are the most common risk factors for depression:

  • Family history, especially if a parent had depression when young

  • Lots of stress

  • Frequent physical complaints, such as headache, stomachache, or extreme tiredness

  • Running away or threats of running away from home

  • Loss of interest in normal activities or activities once enjoyed

  • Sensitivity to failure or rejection

Persistent depressive disorder symptoms may look like other mental health problems. Have your child see his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Whats Anxiety Feel Like

When you feel anxious, your body goes on high alert, looking for possible danger and activating your fight or flight responses. As a result, some common symptoms of anxiety include: nervousness, restlessness, or being tense. feelings of danger, panic, or dread.

A person that has depression cant regulate his or her feelings. If you or your youngster, teenager, or older loved one is depressed, its not his/her fault. Left without treatment, depression can last for weeks, months, and even years. It is very important to recognize that a teen who is depressed may likewise establish anxiety, and might need to be dealt with for two separate problems. It might be that depression causes anxiety disorder and depression symptoms anxiety the negative state of mind of a clinically depressed young adult provides itself to uncertainty. If youre not really feeling good concerning on your own, or positive, or protected, or secure, anxiety might discover productive ground. It might also be due to the fact that the areas of the brain affected by anxiousness and also depression are close together, and mutually affected.

Read Also: What To Do When You Think You Are Depressed

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Treatment of depression can involve an interprofessional team, including a primary care provider and other specialists. Special attention is necessary for the provider managing psychiatric medications and the therapist providing therapy to ensure open and direct lines of communication to ensure that the patient is receiving the best care possible. Furthermore, the mental health provider must maintain a general understanding of the patient’s overall health to ensure that psychiatric medications are not interacting with other drugs the patient is receiving this is where a consult with a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist can be of great value. Psychiatric health nursing staff can also coordinate with the team members, providing patient resources, answering questions, and monitoring patient progress while watching for signs of adverse drug reactions, which will be reported to appropriate team staff members promptly if encountered. The collaborative care model is a newer model of care designed to improve healthcare outcomes that involve initiating mental health care in the primary care setting utilizing behavioral health specialists and care coordination with nurse case managers and providers. A large majority of the management of persistent depressive disorder will likely occur in the primary care setting, and the collaborative, interprofessional care model will serve as one strategy to coordinate care.

What Is Dysthymia Or Persistent Depressive Disorder

Depression

Dysthymia, now called persistent depressive disorder or PDD, is a mood disorder. It is related depression . The difference between the two is in the number of symptoms and the amount of time that they last. Someone diagnosed with PDD would experience two to four of the symptoms below for at least two years with no periods of wellness during that time, while someone diagnosed with major depressive disorder would experience five or more of the symptoms below for at least two weeks.

Symptoms of PDD include:

  • Low mood, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
  • Difficulties concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Fatigue
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Thoughts of suicide

There is a myth that PDD is not as severe an illness as major depressive disorder, but research shows that the disability of the illness, like the ability to work productively and enjoy hobbies, may be as severe in PDD as it is in major depressive disorder. As PDD involves a smaller number of symptoms that last for a very long time, many people begin to assume PDD is just part of their personality rather than an illness that can be effectively treated. So you should most certainly talk to a doctor or mental health professional if you think you might have PDD.

Where can I learn more?

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Recommended Reading: How To End A Depressive Episode

How Is Persistent Depressive Disorder Diagnosed

If you think you have PDD, talk to a healthcare provider. There are no tests for chronic depression, so the diagnosis comes from discussions with a provider. The provider might ask:

  • Do you feel sad a lot?
  • Are there particular reasons you feel down?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating?
  • Are you taking any medications?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Are the symptoms there all the time, or do they come and go?

Your healthcare provider may order blood or urine tests to rule out other causes. The healthcare provider also might refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist to talk about your symptoms. These providers are specially trained to discuss mental health.

What Are Possible Complications Of Persistent Depressive Disorder In A Child

Persistent depressive disorder may put your child at an increased risk for major depression if he or she does not get the correct treatment. It also raises the risk for your child or teen to have other mental health disorders. And it can result in a severe reduction in your child’s long-term quality of life. Correct treatment helps to make symptoms less severe. It also reduces the risk of having another depressive episode .

A child with this disorder may have times of depression that last longer than 5 years. Correct, ongoing treatment can ease symptoms and stop them from returning.

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A Study Of Depression In The Adults

Depression is a state of low mood and aversions to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with depressed moods can feel sad, anxious, empty, helpless, worthless, guilty, ashamed, and restless. Depression is a feature of some syndromes such as major depression, but it may also be a normal reaction to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.

Persistent Depressive Disorder Diagnosis

What is Dysthymia? (Persistent Depressive Disorder)

Persistent Depression might be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are usually very long-lasting and people believe that the Persistent Depressive Disorder symptoms are just their nature or personality. If you are suffering from Persistent Depressive Disorder symptoms, you should see your health care provider or mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis. Your heath care professional will conduct a complete history and also asses if substance use/abuse is the cause.

Read Also: How Do Doctors Test You For Depression

How Is Persistent Depressive Disorder Different From Depression

Symptoms of depression and persistent depressive disorder overlap, but symptoms such as weight change or sleep disturbance are less likely to be found in people with persistent depressive disorder. These symptoms are more prevalent in people with chronic major depression. Other symptoms which are more psychological in nature such as feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness are common to people with both persistent depressive disorder and chronic major depression.

Looking at family history may help with diagnosis. Another recent report suggested that the family histories of people with persistent depressive disorder and chronic major depression were more similar to each other than to the family histories of people with an acute episode of major depression.

Treatments and therapies that are effective for treating depression, such as medication, psychotherapy, and peer support can also work for people with persistent depressive disorder. As with depression, people with persistent depressive disorder may need to try more than one treatment or medication, and it may take several weeks for medication to work. During this time, it is important to seek support from friends, family, and a DBSA support group. People in DBSA support groups have been there and can offer support, understanding, inspiration and hope.

Crisis Information

How Is Dysthymia Treated

Treatment may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Medicine. Many different medicines are available to treat depression. It often takes 4 to 6 weeks for anti-depressants to have a full effect. Its important to keep taking the medicine, even if it doesnt seem to be working at first. Its also important to talk to your healthcare provider before stopping. Some people have to switch medicines or add medicines to get results.
  • Therapy. This is most often cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy. It focuses on changing distorted views of yourself and your environment. It also works to improve relationship skills, and identify and manage stressors.

Because this condition usually last for longer than 5 years, long-term treatment may be needed.

If you have depression, there are things you can do to help yourself. Depression can make you feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings may make you feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and may not reflect reality. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. Meanwhile, consider the following:

Recommended Reading: Depression In Middle Aged Males

Lifestyle Changes For Chronic Depression

This is probably a great time to remind you that, in any situation where you feel less than yourself, its a good idea to contact a general healthcare provider.

They may give you therapeutic or medicinal referrals, but they will also help you narrow down possible causes of depression and sources of continued struggles.

Several lifestyle factors can contribute to depression and mood disorders, including your health, weight, diet, habits, and blood pressure.

Cutting some bad habits like smoking or drinking might help raise your mood, and the added benefit of exercise might do wondersits been shown in some cases to be as effective as medication.

Symptoms Of Persistent Depressive Disorder

What is Persistent Depressive Disorder?

The primary symptom of persistent depressive disorder is a low mood for most days over a two-year period for adults and a one-year period for children and adolescents.

Other symptoms of dysthymia may include:2

  • Poor appetite or strong hunger
  • Getting too much or too little sleep
  • Low energy and feeling fatigued
  • Poor self-esteem and self-worth
  • Limited concentration and decision-making
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic about the future

Like with other conditions, these symptoms cannot be explained by another mental or medical condition and must have an adverse impact on functioning.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • You regularly feel depressed or low
  • Your symptoms are getting worse

Call for help right away if you or someone you know develops signs of suicide risk:

  • Giving away belongings, or talking about going away and the need to get “affairs in order”
  • Performing self-destructive behaviors, such as injuring themselves
  • Suddenly changing behaviors, especially being calm after a period of anxiety
  • Talking about death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from friends or being unwilling to go out anywhere

Can You Have Persistent Depressive Disorder And Not Know It

When persistent depressive disorder begins in adulthood, most people realize that something about their mood and quality of life has changed. However, if it corresponds with a loss or traumatic event, individuals may simply believe that this is their new mental state as a result of their experience.

Children who begin experiencing symptoms very early in life may believe that their depressive state is just an aspect of their personality. Furthermore, since persistent depressive disorder tends to run in families, children may believe that a negative outlook on life and relatively little interest in activities is normal.

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When Should You Seek Persistent Depressive Disorder Treatment

Since the Persistent Depressive Disorder symptoms go on for a long time you may consider it part of your life. If you recognize persistent depression symptoms like unexplainable emotional changes, sudden loss of interest in almost everything, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, or suicidal thoughts, etc., you should seek the assistance of mental health professional.

How Can I Tell If My Child Has Persistent Depressive Disorder Or If They Are Just Blue

What is Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)?

Being a little sad or moody can be normal in children and adolescents. Depression involves a childs body, mind and thoughts. A child with depression will often demonstrate appetite or sleep changes or other changes in their behavior. Academic performance and social functioning may be affected. If these symptoms persist the child may have persistent depressive disorder. It is important for your child to be evaluated by a mental health professional if you notice significant changes in his or her mood and behavior.

  • You should seek prompt treatment for your child if any of the following symptoms persist for two weeks or more:
    • feeling sad, worried or hopeless
    • expressing low self-esteem or making negative comparisons to peers
    • sleeping too often or not often enough
    • withdrawal from family and friends
    • sudden change in weight or appetite
    • unprovoked irritability, hostility or aggression
    • diminished performance in school
    • complaining of headaches, stomachaches or other physical symptoms with no identifiable medical cause
  • If your child:

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How Is Persistent Depressive Disorder Treated

The most effective treatment for PDD combines medications and talk therapy, or counseling.

Antidepressants are prescription drugs that can relieve depression. There are many different kinds of medications for the treatment of depression. The most commonly used fall into two broad categories:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors .

You may need to take medication for a month or longer before you feel a difference. Make sure to continue taking the medication exactly as your healthcare provider prescribed. Even if you have side effects or feel much better, dont stop without talking to your healthcare provider first.

Counseling can also help manage PDD. One type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy , is often helpful for depression. A therapist or psychologist will help you examine your thoughts and emotions and how they affect your actions. CBT can help you unlearn negative thoughts and develop more positive thinking.

Coping With Persistent Depressive Disorder

There are different methods that can be useful to help you cope with persistent depressive disorder symptoms, and get better Persistent Depressive Disorder treatment. Lifestyle changes and self-care become paramount to dealing with chronic depression. Some of these strategies are:

Regular exercise Spend some time with nature Make some leisure time for yourself. Get plenty of sleep Manage stress, to increase your resilience self-esteem. Maintain medicinal treatments Consider getting treatment help to prevent re-occurrence of symptoms. In times of crisis reach out to family and friends. Seeking treatment at the earliest stage of depression helps it from getting worse. Keep your focus on the brighter side

Recommended Reading: Meal Plan For Anxiety And Depression

Prevalence Of Persistent Depressive Disorder Among Adults

  • Based on diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Replication , Figure 1 shows past year prevalence of persistent depressive disorder among U.S. adults aged 18 or older.1
  • An estimated 1.5% of U.S. adults had persistent depressive disorder in the past year.
  • Past year prevalence of persistent depressive disorder among adults higher for females than for males .
  • An estimated 2.5% of U.S. adults experience persistent depressive disorder at some time in their lives.2
  • Figure 1

    Past Year Prevalence of Persistent Depressive Disorder Among U.S Adults

    Demographic
    0.5

    Sex Preference And Depression In The Family

    Understand Types Of Depression Now &  Get Healed!

    Sex preference was one of the key factors revealed from the qualitative data. The family wished for a male child because of the son’s family heritage. Some of the participants wished for a son who was a symbol of prestige in the family and society.

    Pressure and joy were attributed to the belief. There is a difference in the extent to which depression is reported due to methodological variation, like types of screening tool used, and the time point when screened for symptoms. The studies show the risk of depression during the pregnant period.

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    Risk Factors For Persistent Depressive Disorder

    • You have a family history of persistent depressive disorder
    • You have a history of other physiological or psychological disorders, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Specific personality traits such as low self-esteem or being too dependent
    • You have recently witnessed a traumatic life event

    Persistent Depressive Disorder In Older Adults

    In persistent depressive disorder, rates increase throughout adulthood. People aged 45 to 59 have the highest incidence of persistent depression.1 Their symptoms may be challenging to identify because they could mirror the expected experiences of aging. They will have low energy, low motivation, and poor concentration.

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    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dysthymia

    The symptoms of dysthymia are the same as those of major depression but fewer in number and not as intense. They include the following:

    • Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
    • Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
    • Major change in weight or appetite
    • Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
    • Being physically restless or rundown in a way that is noticeable by others
    • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
    • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
    • Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
    • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt

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