There are various types of therapy that can be relied upon for the treatment of dysthymia. Sometimes, they can be effective when followed individually, but they can also be combined. The treatment of dysthymia has many similarities with the treatment of depression. Below, you can find an overview of some of the therapy options:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): This is an integration of Cognitive Therapy and Behavioural Therapy. You will investigate the thoughts and behaviour that sustain your complaints and learn techniques to change them. For a more in-depth explanation of CBT, check out this video. To get a better idea of what Cognitive Therapy entails, you can find further information here.
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT): With this type of therapy, the focus is on social aspects. When you’re suffering from depression, you are often dealing with a disturbance in your social environment. A conflict with someone, for example, or a lack of social contact, which leads to loneliness. You can find more information on IPT here.
- Pharmacological treatment: When you are suffering from depressive symptoms, you are dealing with a disturbance that affects the hormones that influence your mood and feelings, such as the neurotransmitter serotonin. Medication can provide support by reducing the intensity of your symptoms. Research has shown that medication is very effective. The combination of therapy and medication has also shown great results. You can read more about antidepressants here.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness combined with Cognitive Therapy has proven to be an effective combination. During this type of treatment, the focus is put on negative thinking patterns or unhealthy habits such as worrying. By practicing meditation, amongst other things, you learn to recognize these unhealthy negative and/or recurring thinking patterns and disconnect from them. Mindfulness reduces worrying and reduces the risk of relapse. You can read more about what is meant by mindfulness here.
Psychotherapy for chronic major depression and dysthymia: a meta-analysis P Cuijpers, A van Straten, J Schuurmans, P van Oppen, SD Hollon, and G Andersson. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK77927/
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as a treatment for chronic depression: A preliminary study Thorsten Barnhofer, Catherine Crane, Emily Hargus, Myanthi Amarasinghe, Rosie Winder, J. Mark G. Williams
Rumination as a predictor of relapse in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression Johannes Michalak∗, Anne Holz and Tobias Teismann