Causes of Chronic Depression
Depression is our response to traumatic events; it can last from 6 to 9 months and should be treated. If depression lasts longer than nine months, it is chronic depression. Its episodes go away only to return in a short time. This is a long-lasting mental disorder causing loss of interest in everything and interfering with our daily life. There is no much information about causes of chronic depression. It is known that heredity and sever stress contribute to its development. Imbalance of chemicals in our brains is one more contributor. Hormonal disorder, chronic fatigue, AIDS, chronic heart disorders, Parkinson’s disease are also among causes. It also happens when stresses are overwhelming, especially those ones people had in their childhood. If our brain lacks serotonin, it can result in chemical imbalance and as a result in this mental disorder. Serotonin is responsible for our feeling of well-being. Neurotransmitters produce chemicals transmitting signals between nerve cells. If we lack them, we can have moods. It is treatable thanks to drugs correcting imbalance of neurotransmitters. In case of chronic depression, such medical condition as double depression can be observed. It means people suffering from chronic depression can experience episodes of major depression.
Dysthymia is classified as a sub-type of chronic depression. It is quite common and women suffer from it more often than men. There are six symptoms of chronic depression. They are: very low levels of energy, feeling of helplessness, low self-esteem or despair, problems with sleep (oversleeping or insomnia), problems with concentration and appetite (its significant decrease or increase). If you feel at least two of these symptoms, you are better to see a health professional.
When suffering from Dysthymia, people are in low mood practically all the day. It can last up to two years and people have moods most days.
Dysthymia is mainly gradual. Due to this fact, this disorder is more difficult to recognize and diagnose. As this sub-type of depression is less apparent, people suffering from it, spend years in despair without being treated. And at its best, it becomes their way of life. Entire world seems to look grey and joyless.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Depression
There are physical and mental symptoms of chronic depression. This disorder features short periods of normal life that are changed with long-lasting episodes. Up to 20% of people suffering from various depressive disorders have symptoms of chronic depression. Everything begins from sadness which gradually becomes more and more intensive. Then people can feel severe fatigue or restlessness. They loose interest in things and activities they enjoyed before. Their eating habits are changed and they have difficulties with sleep. Their sex drive decreases. They are severe on themselves and feel guilt without any reason.
As for mental symptoms of chronic depression, they are worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness, persistent sadness, difficulties with making decisions. If symptoms of chronic depression are not recognized in time, people can have thoughts of suicide or death and even make essay suicide. In such case psychotherapy should be combined with use of antidepressants.