Chronic Depression that is a less severe form of depression is also called dysthymia. While this is not a severe condition of depression the symptoms of this disorder can last for quite a long period of time. Therefore it should be given the same concern as the other more debilitating forms of depression.
The symptoms of chronic depression are about the same as major depression. They include difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in one's daily activities, being unable to enjoy one’s life, loss of energy, fatigue, changes in appetite, mental and physical sluggishness, thoughts of death or even suicide, difficulty concentrating, trouble making decisions and thinking, excessive feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
These symptoms can sometimes last for years. People who have chronic depression can lead normal lives and perform all of their tasks adequately but they are unable to shake off the unhappiness that consistently grips them. Besides suffering from chronic depression some people will also experience a condition called double depression. Double Depression occurs when a person suffers a Major Depressive episode and their mood swings towards a chronic depressive mood.
In Double Depression the person suffers from the severe symptoms of major depression as well as the milder symptoms of chronic depression. The symptoms of chronic depression include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, loss of energy or fatigue, loss of interest, the inability to enjoy oneself, physical and mental sluggishness, difficulty in concentrating, thinking or making decisions, excessive feelings of guilt and worthlessness as well as death and suicide.
Chronic depression can affect any one who is aged 18 and over. There are currently about 10.9 million American adults who suffer from chronic depression. For depression to be medically classified as chronic depression the symptoms must be present for a period lasting longer than two weeks.
Even though the symptoms may last for 2 or more weeks, it is necessary for a mental health specialist to rule out that there is any other illness that is causing these symptoms. Once it is certain that the individual is suffering from chronic depression then medical treatment for the depression can be started. One way that chronic depression can be diagnosed is by examining the psychiatric history of the patient and their family. Any family history of chronic depression will indicate that the individual symptoms do indicate chronic depression.
While chronic depression is a serious illness it can be treated and its victims do not have to suffer needlessly for years. There are currently a range of medications and therapies that work quite while at controlling the initial stages of the disorder. After a period of time you can see an improvement in the quality of your life. So if you suffer from chronic depression don't lose heart, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope and help, remember that.