Depression can appear in many forms, and sufferers can experience both mental and physical symptoms of depression. Long-term presentation of depression symptoms is known as chronic depression. Learn about the following symptoms of depression:
- Chronic major depression symptoms
- Double depression symptoms
- Dysthymia symptoms.
Though symptoms of each type of chronic depression can vary, they are all characterized by symptoms of depression that last for more than two years. Consult the chronic depression symptoms checklist below to see if you’re experiencing any long-term symptoms of depression.
Chronic Major Depression Symptoms Checklist
Chronic major depression is marked by major depressive disorder symptoms that last for two years or more. While symptoms may become temporarily milder during partial remission episodes, they never completely resolve. Symptoms include:
- Aches and pains, such as chronic headaches
- Appetite changes, with consequent weight loss or gain
- Difficulty remembering things
- Distractibility and loss of concentration
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Reduced sex drive
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
These symptoms are severe enough to interfere with everyday life, including the ability to meet professional and personal responsibilities.
Dysthymia Symptoms Checklist
Dysthymia (or dysthymic disorder) is a milder form of chronic depression. Like other forms of depression, dysthymia symptoms are both emotional and physical, but milder. Common dysthymia symptoms include:
- Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- Loss of interest
- Low energy
- Low or depressed mood
- Reduced desire for social interaction
Since dysthymia symptoms are sometimes mistaken for a negative, melancholy personality, sufferers don’t always seek treatment. If you experience these symptoms for several years, however, you may be depressed.
Double Depression Symptoms Checklist
Double depression is a condition marked by a history of dysthymia, with overlaid episodes of major depressive disorder. Symptoms may vary, from mild (dysthymia symptoms) to more severe (major depressive symptoms). If you have a history of mild symptoms of depression, and your symptoms worsen, you may have double depression.
What If You’re Experiencing Chronic Depression Symptoms?
If you experience symptoms that indicate a form of chronic depression, contact your doctor. Chronic depression can be difficult to treat, and its symptoms may worsen over time, especially if they go untreated. For example, dysthymia symptoms may exacerbate into more severe chronic depression symptoms.
A doctor or licensed mental health professional can make a diagnosis, often using a chronic depression symptoms checklist. After reviewing your personal and medical history, along with pertinent physical exams and lab tests, she’ll be able to recommend a treatment option.
Harvard Health Publications Staff. (2009). Managing chronic depression. Retrieved June 4, 2010, from the Harvard Health Publications website: www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/December/managing-chronic-depression.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Depression (major depression). Retrieved June 4, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Dysthymia (dysthymic disorder). Retrieved June 4, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/dysthymia/DS01111.
Medline Plus Staff. (n.d.). Dysthymia. Retrieved June 4, 2010, from the Medline Plus website: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000918.htm.
Penn State University – Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine Staff. (n.d.) Chronic depression. Retrieved June 4, 2010, from the Penn State University – Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine website: www.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/d/depression.htm.