According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 11 million people 18 or older suffer from a mental condition known as dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia. It is also known as chronic depression, major depression, clinical depression and unipolar depression, and is very similar to recurring depression, though not as debilitating. The illness is characterized by a consistently sad and troubled state of mind, and symptoms also include difficulty in sleeping and eating, trouble concentrating or making decisions, loss of energy and a lack of interest in things that were once pleasurable.
These symptoms are generally akin to major depressive disorder, though milder and unending for a lengthy period. Everybody experiences feelings of depression in life at moments of extremely heightened sadness, but for those with major depressive disorder, one of the usual symptoms of a bipolar disorder, the depression can become particularly intense. Dysthymic disorder causes its victims to suffer from the same persistently sad feelings that those with major depressive disorder experience, though on a milder scale and with more long-lasting effects.
Most of the people with dysthymia are able to carry on normal lives, though may be notably unhappy. Since the illness typically lasts for several years, those suffering may eventually accept the depression they are experiencing as part of their character and may never approach doctors and family about it. This can sometimes make the illness hard to diagnose, but it is accepted that the condition must have taken place for at least two years to count as a chronic depression.
Dysthymic Disorder and Disability
People with dysthymic disorder are often incapable of keeping it from overtaking their thoughts with sorrow and can, therefore, often become unable to perform normal activities. If you or a loved one has become disabled due to dysthymic disorder and would like more information on how to apply for long term disability or Social Security disability benefits, contact dysthymia attorney Nick A. Ortiz at 850-898-9904 for a free case evaluation.