Published: 07/31/2013 - Updated: 08/13/2019
We all sometimes feel a little low, moody and apathetic: There are many reasons that can trigger this feeling, either because we had to wait a long time for something, we have financial problems, we have been stuck in traffic, etc. Everyday life situations have tested even the most peaceful people.
A normal human process is recovered after such lapses in a bad mood or irritability, but there are cases that go beyond just a momentary bad mood. When a person always associates things to negative thoughts and is unmotivated or dissatisfied with life, or is easily irritated, they may have a psychological disorder. Constant moodiness is a slight depression which is known as dysthymia.
There are many ways to treat this illness and there are even some natural treatments to cope with it and seek a diagnosis if we or someone we known is suffering from it in order to keep it from developing into a more serious problem.
What characterises dysthymia?
It is a psychological condition that can affect anyone, no matter if you are an older adult or a child, the problem can also occur at different stages. If a child was very cheerful, during adolescence he or she may develop dysthymia due to the problems that he or she is facing in that stage of their life.
We could say that the disorder is defined as an affective problem and presents itself in similar symptoms to chronic depression. According to statistics, it affects 3% of the world population.
Detecting the illness
The best way to detest the illness is to be very alert to changes happening in your/your friend's body. Usually there is a decrease in daily performance, whether at work, school or in social relationships. People with dysthymia are easily irritated, have periods of anxiety and yell at others.
It is commonly expressed with phrases like: "I have done nothing in my life properly" "I cannot do this" and so on. In adults, the most representative symptoms are lack of motivation or desire to do the activities. In children, a common symptom is irritability which can be considered dysthymia if the symptoms have regularly presented themselves over a period of a year or more.
To diagnose this disorder it is necessary to see a physician if these symptoms present steadily for a period of at least two years:
- Lack of energy and persistent fatigue.
- Feelings of hopelessness or despair.
- Changes in food: Increased or decreased appetite.
- Having low self-esteem.
- Difficulty in concentrating.
- Suffers from insomnia or hipersonmia.
Problems of developing dysthymia
Having this disorder and the emotional changes involved may eventually affect our psychological health as well as physical health; usually people who have it are more likely to develop heart problems related to the cardiovascular system. They are also more likely to have a heart attack caused by episodes of irritability as it releases a high amount of adrenaline that increases blood pressure. If these episodes become constant, they can also lead to cardiac arrhythmias.
Furthermore, cranky periods may eventually bring liver problems and vesicular diseases causing the body to not properly remove toxins if it is subjected to very strong stress levels.
Actions and remedies to treat it
A person suffering from dysthymia is unlikely to recognise a problem with their own mood, so family support is essential for the person to cope with and recover from this illness.
The basic treatment is with psychotherapy, but this can also be supplemented with natural remedies based on flowers and plants. A few examples of these medicinal plants may be:
The mustard plant: Helps improve mood, especially when there is an apparent reason for depression or dysthymia.
The Larch: instills confidence in people with low self-esteem and helps them stay positive.
The olive tree leaves: helps to counteract fatigue and tiredness, which keeps a person's mood more lively and cheerful.