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Dysthymia or High functioning Depression

When you hear about depression, you probably associate the word with people who are severely depressed, very sad, lonely and don’t even want to or cannot get out of bed. While that is definitely a form of severe depression, there is another type that is not often talked about…called dysthymia or high functioning depression.

What is Dysthymia? 

High functioning depression or dysthymia is a “depressed mood for most of the day, for more days of the month than not, for at least two years.” It includes the presence of two or more of the following symptoms:
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration 
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness and despair

The uniquely tricky thing about high-functioning depression is that it’s hard to spot precisely because the people dealing with it look ‘normal’ from the outside like they’re in control of their lives and are holding it all together. 

In other words, someone struggling with dysthymia may still be able to get up and go to their demanding, prestigious job, be in a romantic relationship, post the believable smiley photos on Facebook and Instagram, regularly get together with their workmates for happy hour at a local bar and generally handle all the logistical adulting stuff of their life — passing for someone who doesn’t “look depressed.”

How do you know if you may be suffering from dysthymia? 
  • Inability or difficulty experiencing joy
  • Relentless criticality of self and others
  • Constant self-doubt
  • Diminished energy
  • Irritability or excessive anger
  • Small things feel like huge things
  • Feelings of guilt or worry over the past and future
  • Relying on your coping strategies more and more
  • Generalized sadness 
  • Seeking perfection 
  • Inability to rest and slow down 

If you see yourself in these symptoms, it is important to seek help and not be ashamed of something that is actually quite common. 

The reality with high-functioning depression and moving through your days is that it can often feel like you’re attempting to build a huge castle on a foundation of quicksand.
Your kitchen has several ingredients that can help you cope.
  • Elaichi powder is an anti-depressant which when taken at bedtime with soaked strands of saffron and haldi powder will ensure that the symptoms of dysthymia decrease in intensity.
  • Star anise therapeutic water will up your energy levels. Please stop having this by 7pm so that your sleep cycle is not affected.
  • Khuskhus and nutmeg paste will help with sleep.
  • Eating a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables daily will ensure that your vitamin and mineral needs are adequately met.
  • Omega fatty acids, Fish oils, cold pressed coconut oil, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cashews and almonds are all good to boost serotonin levels and to ensure that you ‘feel good’

Stay blessed with good health…always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza


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