People may believe permanent depression disorder isn’t a severe condition. However, left untreated, permanent depression disorder can have serious consequences. People who think they or someone they know are suffering from permanent depression disorder should seek medical advice and treatment.

This article discusses permanent depression disorder, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. It also discusses the differences between general depression and major depressive disorder. Continue reading to learn what you can do when you suspect someone may be suffering from permanent depression disorder.

What Is Permanent Depression Disorder?

Permanent depression disorder, otherwise known as persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia, is mild or moderate depression that doesn’t stop. Patients who suffer from PDD have sad, dark, and low moods with two or more other depression symptoms, and the symptoms last most days for a prolonged period.

What’s the Difference Between Depression and Permanent Depressive Disorder?

PDD is a type of depression that lasts over a long time. It is less severe than major depressive disorder, but it is severe nonetheless. PDD lasts at least two years in adults and at least one year in children and adults. During the years that it lasts, symptoms can come and go.

How Common Is Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression can happen to anyone, at any age, with any background. At least 6% of the US population experiences clinical depression at some point throughout their lives. However, PDD is more common in women and in people who have relatives with the same condition.

Permanent Depressive Disorder Causes

It’s still unclear what causes PDD though scientists believe it could correspond with lower serotonin levels in patients. Serotonin is the hormone that controls emotions and feelings of contentment and happiness. It can also affect other bodily functions that might exacerbate depression symptoms.

PDD can also get triggered by trauma. For example, if a patient loses their job, experiences the death of a loved one, or experiences a crime, they might descend into a depressive state.

Symptoms of Dysthymia

The most common symptom of PDD is a deep state of sadness. Other signs might include physical symptoms such as extreme fatigue and loss of appetite. In contrast, emotional symptoms and behavioral symptoms might consist of low self-esteem, inability to focus, trouble at work or school, and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or isolation.

People with PDD are more likely to suffer a major depressive episode at least once throughout their PDD struggle. This period is known as double depression.

Diagnosing Permanent Depression Disorder

If you are worried about you or a loved one having PDD, you should consult a doctor. There are no definitive tests to diagnose PDD, so a doctor needs to evaluate you or your loved one to determine whether or not PDD is present.

To make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor first performs a physical examination. Your doctor will also perform blood tests or other laboratory tests to rule out possible medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms. If no physical causes exist for your situation, your doctor will turn to a mental diagnosis.

To do so, your doctor will ask a series of questions aimed to assess your current mental and emotional state. To receive an accurate diagnosis, you need to be honest when answering these questions. Your responses ultimately determine the next step in your treatment.

Doctors often use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose PDD. The American Psychiatric Association publishes this manual, and it contains information regarding symptoms and symptom management.

Treating Persistent Depression Disorder

The most effective treatments for persistent depression disorder combine medicinal therapy with counseling therapy. Antidepressants are often used to relieve depression, such a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Medication may take a month or longer for patients to notice a difference. Patients should continue taking the medication as their healthcare provider prescribes, even if they have side effects or don’t immediately feel the effects.

The most common form of counseling for PDD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. In CBT, your therapist helps you examine your thoughts and bring issues into your conscious mind. Exposing yourself to your thoughts and feelings in a controlled environment enables you to form honest opinions about your problems and symptoms.

Persistent Depressive Disorder Prevention

You can’t prevent depression, but you can take steps to lessen its severity.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet filled with nutritious foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit your alcohol and stop your recreational drug use.
  • Taking your prescribed medications as directed by your doctor.
  • Watch for changes in your symptoms of PDD and discuss them with your healthcare provider.

With the correct treatment protocol, patience, and support system, many patients recover from PDD. However, since it’s a chronic condition, patients might not recover from their PDD symptoms. In these cases, symptom management is the most critical component of treatment.

Key Points- PDD

Dysthymia is milder than major depressive disorder but is more chronic. However, people with PDD may also experience major depression at times. Though there is no apparent cause of PDD, doctors believe there is a connection to chemical imbalances in the brain. Other types of depression might be hereditary, though no genes have been directly linked to depression.

Nearly everyone with depression feels persistent feelings of sadness. They may also feel hopeless, and without treatment, symptoms can last for many years. Treatments for PDD most often consist of medicine, therapy, or a combination of both.

Conclusion- What Is Permanent Depression Disorder?

Permanent depression disorder is a chronic condition that results in prolonged periods of depression for patients. Bouts of permanent depression disorder can last weeks or months, and though they aren’t as severe as major depressive disorder symptoms, patients must seek treatment. Learn more about teen residential treatment programs for depression here.

You should never feel like your condition isn’t severe enough to seek help. Permanent depression disorder may feel like a general malaise or general sadness but left untreated. It can have catastrophic consequences that shouldn’t be taken lightly.