Chronic depression, medically referred to as Dysthymia, is a mild form of depression, but it can affect your quality of life for a long period of time and cause physical and mental complications. Chronic depression may cause you to lose interest in almost everything, develop low self-esteem and basically, become incapable of living your life to the fullest. Old friends and even family members may begin to avoid you after awhile because you bring nothing but negativity to the relationship.
The symptoms of chronic depression are much the same as severe depression. Fatigue, hopelessness, anger, self-criticizing, trouble concentrating and making decisions are present in both types of depression and may or may not keep you from functioning and completing tasks in daily life.
You may not always feel the full effect of these symptoms all the time or even most of the time, but chronic depression can take its toll in a number of ways. It can overwhelm you at times in your life when you’re supposed to be happy, such as during pregnancy or marrying your soul mate.
Normal stresses that people face periodically or every day may affect you differently if you suffer from chronic depression. For example, most people might be able to shrug off a bad day at work, but you might view it as life-changing and it might cause you to withdraw into a dark hole for a number of days or even weeks.
Complications of chronic depression symptoms can virtually ruin your life. The complications may include family or work-related conflicts, substance or alcohol abuse, withdrawal from social activities, suicidal thoughts and relationship problems. All these side effects of chronic depression can greatly reduce your quality of life and could turn into major depression.
Seeking help from your primary care doctor is the first step toward beating chronic depression and when you combine that with help from a counselor or mental health care provider, you can help yourself to resume a normal lifestyle. Antidepressants, prescribed by your doctor, have few side effects and may help to greatly relieve the symptoms that keep you from functioning. Counseling can help you understand why you have a propensity for chronic depression.
Normal feelings of sadness, anger or mild depression are a part of our reactions to stressful situations, but if it lasts for a longer period of time than usual or begins to interfere with work, attending class, relationships or keeps you from performing daily tasks, you could be suffering from chronic depression.