Depression is a very complex illness that has a whole host of associated disorders which can cause an individual to present with symptoms/side effects that are conventionally associated with depression.

However, it is important to be aware of the different forms that depressive disorders can manifest in so that you can get eh best possible treatment, one of these being recurrent depressive disorder.

Recurrent depressive disorder (dysthymia), is an uninterrupted chronic variation of depression. If you are suffering from dysthymia then you will often find that you are losing interest in everyday activities, experiencing feelings of hopelessness, generally lacking productivity, and you may have consistently low self-esteem as well as overall feelings of inadequacy.

These behaviours and emotions can last for many years and have a significant impact on your close relationships, school/university work, employment, and general day-to-day activities.

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If you think that you may be suffering from a recurrent depressive disorder, then you may be finding it very difficult to be positive even on the happiest of occasions.

It may be the reason why you have recently developed a gloomy personality, be constantly complaining, or be seen as being unable to have a good time.

Although recurrent depressive disorder may not mean that these symptoms are as severe as with a major depressive episode, your current feelings of depression may be mild, moderate or severe over a much longer period of time.

Due to the fact of this being a chronic condition, it can appear quite overwhelming to start managing your symptoms, but with the help of talking therapy and other forms of therapy, it can be done — especially with the help of specialist hospital such as Nova Recovery.

Recurrent Depressive Disorder Symptoms

While some of the more general symptoms for recurrent depressive disorder were covered above, some of the most specific symptoms can include the likes of:

  • Panic attacks.
  • Sudden development of irritability/anger.
  • Frequent avoidance of social activities.
  • Sudden feelings of guilt over things from the past.
  • Either poor appetite or overeating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of interest in previous activities that brought you joy.
  • General, and consistent, feeling of emptiness or being down.

What Are The Causes Of Recurrent Depressive Disorder

There are many different factors that can contribute to an individual being more at risk of developing a recurrent depressive disorder.

Similar to depressive episodes, this complex illness does not have one clear cause, but some of the reasons as to why someone may present with recurrent depressive disorder include the likes of:

  • Brain Chemistry – There are studies that indicate that there may well be a relationship between the abnormal function and levels of certain neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) and the development of a recurrent depressive disorder. Neurotransmitters are involved in a lot of mood stabilisation, and so they may be the cause of your disorder.
  • Past Life Events – Traumas, such as the loss of a loved one or financial issues, that an individual has suffered in their life may lead to them developing a recurrent depressive disorder — similar to major depressive episodes. The high levels of stress stemming from trauma may be one of the causes contributing to your disorder.
  • Biological Causes – It is possible that people who are presenting with this condition have physiological changes in their bring which have lead to its development. This is an area where there is being much more studying into.
  • Genealogical Factors/Inherited Traits – Recurrent depressive disorder has been shown to be more common in individuals who have blood relatives, particularly first-degree relatives, who have presented with major depressive disorder or other depressive disorders. There is a lot of work being done into locating which genes may be responsible for this, but to no avail as yet due to the extent of research that is needed to be conducted.
  • Personality Traits And/Or History Of Other Mental Health Disorders – Those who are an inherently negative person are known to be more at risk of succumbing to a clinical diagnosis of recurrent depressive disorder and/or major depressive episodes. Furthermore, previous illnesses such as personality disorders can also leave you more at risk of manifesting recurrent depressive disorder.

What Complications Can Recurrent Depressive Disorder Lead To

This disorder can take a heavy toll on all aspects of your day-to-day life, with some of the most commonly documented side-effects being the likes of:

  • Suicidal thoughts and/or self-sabotaging behaviours.
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships with family, friends, or romantic partners.
  • Substance abuse and alcohol can be turned to as a form of “self-medication” to deal with the constant feelings of inadequacy and misery.
  • School and/or employment prospects can be cut short due to a lack of engagement with the world around you.

Finding yourself in the throes of a recurrent depressive disorder can lead you to isolate yourself from those around you.

However, it is important to know that there are always helplines, recovery centres (such as Nova Recovery), and individuals out there who will be willing to provide you a helping hand through this time.

How To Prevent Recurrent Depressive Disorder

While there may seem to be no straightforward way to “prevent” this disorder in the conventional sense, there are many ways that you can manage the condition and learn to minimise the detrimental effects.

Getting treatment as early as possible for this condition is important though, as delaying treatment can only lead you to feel worse and reduce your resolve to attend treatment.

Some strategies that can be implemented to control the condition include simple things like practising good self-care and stress management. Making sure that you take time to do basic things like eat properly, get some daily exercise, and relax can be critical with managing this condition.

Furthermore, reaching out to family and friends to tell them how you are feeling is not only good for establishing a support network but they will also take time to try and help make your condition more bearable and prevent yet from getting any worse.

Finally, with the help of professional medical staff and facilities, it is possible to attend therapies that can minimise the impact that this condition has on your life. With therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and one-to-one counselling, you will be able to realise a more positive outlook and retrain your brain to find the joy in things that you once loved.