Here are five approaches to help symptoms of dysthymia, the milder, but persistent depression:
#1 Consider a combined approach
The research on dysthymia suggests that behavioral-based psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy) and pharmacotherapy (depression medications) are effective treatments, especially in conjunction. Given that people with chronic depression often have interpersonal difficulties, researchers found that the very nature of combined treatment “targets both depressive symptoms and social functioning.”
#2 Good rapport with health care provider
While both talk therapy and pharmacotherapy may be the best course of treatment, what may be even more critical is the relationship to both your psychotherapist and your prescribing physician. It’s essential to search until you find someone you can have a good rapport with, so you can put full trust in their decisions for your treatment.
#3 Have more self-awareness
A 2008 Swedish study published in BMC Journal followed a small group of people with dysthymia for nine years. Researchers concluded that, along with antidepressant medication, “common helpful factors” in remission included greater self-understanding, self-awareness and flexibility of thinking. By being aware of what you’re thinking, you’ll be less likely to react emotionally, but rather consciously. Meditation can help you learn how to step away from stressful moment in life and manage them with a clearer mind.
#4 Get more physical
Studies prove that beneficial changes occur in the brain following regular exercise. The physical act of rigorous movement improves neurotrophins, a family of proteins that promote brain functioning. (Neurotrophins are among the most exciting new developments being explored by neuroscientists.) Make sure to talk with your doctor about beginning an exercise program if you’re not currently physically active.
#5 Take time for yourself and for others
When we focus on treating ourselves with the same kindness we would treat others, it pays off. The simple act of paying attention to and diverting or changing negative thoughts is doing something good for yourself. So is treating yourself to enjoying nature for an hour, sitting quietly in a park, or a walk in the forest. Fresh air and positive thoughts will help motivate you in other ways too. In addition, giving kindness to others—perhaps by volunteering to help in your community—boosts your self-esteem and this sense of purpose is good for your frame of mind.
related: Break Through the Fog of Dysthymia
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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