I am writing an article for my writing class on dysthymia, and I am stumped!  Dysthymia is  a type of depression that lasts at least two years (sometimes much longer), and in which the sufferer can have many of the same symptoms that people with so-called “major” depression face.  I’ve seen it described as “mild,” “less severe,” and even “minor.”  The thing is, people with dysthymia (dis-THIGH-me-a) have often been depressed for so long, they’ve forgotten what it feels like not to be depressed.  Depression becomes their “normal” state.  Everything seems hopeless; they have no motivation; they have no energy.  They get by, but they have no joy, and they feel they have no worth.  And this is what normal feels like.

My article started out as a list article – you know, like “57 ways to cut your grocery bill” or “16 Green Crafts Using Your Old Milk Jug Lids!”  Mine was “Get a Handle on the Blahs.”  I really want to write this article – I was dysthymic myself, for many years, and if I hadn’t come across the term somewhere, I never would have gotten the help I needed.  The thing is, I’m getting caught up in the futility of writing a self-help article for people who don’t recognize their own need for help.  Also, I only have 1000 words to work with.


Any ideas?

3 responses »

  1. I have never heard of this term before but I understand exactly what it is as I can honestly say I have had it. I have had depression for almost my whole life and didn’t know it until I was almost 30. My suggestion might be to have people think about how when someone tries to give them a solution to a problem no matter how practical it is, they can always find fault with it. Meaning that their friends and mates find it difficult to even be around them or help them and get frustrated and just quit. This means that the depressed person has just pushed another possible support person away from them by not allowing there to be a solution to any of their problems. I hope that makes sense. I had no idea I was doing this until a very good friend looked at me and said “Look I’ve given you every idea I can think of to fix the problem you have, you just really don’t want a solution you just want to feel miserable. Until you want to be a part of fixing your problems, I can’t help you. You need to to get professional help.” She kept encouraging me and I did seek help and did some talk therapy along with some antidepressants and have come a long way baby, but it was a lot of growing up to get there and understand that I had to be part of my own solutions to not feeling depressed. That I could have a part in deciding it I was going to have a good day or a bad day by deciding to just look for a solution instead of finding fault with every idea that anyone could come up with to help.

    • Jeanne, thank you very much for your comment. You hit on exactly the issue I’m include in my article. And GOOD FOR YOU for getting help – it makes a HUGE difference, doesn’t it?

  2. Hi, my name is Deb Cheslow I’ve just published a workbook called Overcome Dysthymia: Break Free and Create a Life You Love. It’s the system I used to break dysthymia’s grip on my life and I’ve coached many people through the program with excellent results. I’d be happy to discuss the topic if you’d like!

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