Depression or Recession (emotional)


We hear all the time about people being depressed for one reason or another or for several reasons at once. So many things can lead to depression and really cause a person to become dysfunctional and in need of serious help. Dealing with the pain and limitations of arthritis is really tough and I feel like I am getting “down”. My very good friend Matt has his masters in psychology and has studied and helped people with depression and other depression-type conditions. As I was thinking about depression and about getting depressed, I thought that perhaps there was a condition like depression but less severe – like maybe a “recession” emotionally. Considering that this might be a problem for me, I called Matt and posed the question, “in the economy we see depressions and less severe recessions, is there such a thing with people? Is there a kind of personal “recession”? He told me right away “yes, it’s called Dysthymia”. He told me about it and had me look up some articles on it.

Apparently depression and dysthymia can happen in people who suffer from injuries or disappointments. Since life changes after injuries and change is tough to deal with, it makes sense that it happens.

Here is some of what I found out about it:

Dysthymia –

Medical Definition of dysthymia. : a mood disorder characterized by chronic mildly depressed or irritable mood often accompanied by other symptoms (as eating and sleeping disturbances, fatigue, and poor self-esteem)—called also dysthymic disorder.

Dysthymia | Definition of Dysthymia by Merriam-Webster


Dysthymia, or low-grade depression, is less severe than major depression but more chronic. It occurs twice as often in women as in men.


Dysthymia is a serious and disabling disorder that shares many symptoms with other forms of clinical depression. It is generally experienced as a less severe but more chronic form of major depression.

Dysthymia is characterized by depressed mood experienced most of the time for at least two years, along with at least two of the following symptoms: insomnia or excessive sleep, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor appetite or overeating, poor concentration or indecisiveness, and feelings of hopelessness. The more severe symptoms that mark major depression, including anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure), psychomotor symptoms (particularly lethargy or agitation), and thoughts of death or suicide, are often absent in dysthymia.

Dysthymia can occur alone or in conjunction with other mood or psychiatric disorders. For instance, more than half of people who suffer from dysthymia will experience at least one episode of major depression; this condition is known as double major depressive disorder.

Dysthymia is about as common as major depression, affecting about 6 percent of the US population. Like major depression, dysthymia occurs twice as often in women as in men.


  • American Psychiatric Association
  • National Library of Medicine
  • Harvard Medical School (2005). Dysthymia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Health Publications.

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