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Sad all the time? Dysthymia

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

It's difficult to describe but if you see and feel sadness in most things in life you could have dysthymia. Constant, uncontrollable crying, thinking often about sad topics.

A proper diagnosis is needed. This illness generally develops prior to adulthood and can be described as a constant low mood depression. You can google "dysthymia mood disorder" to receive a full description.

The disorder makes one feel alone, desperate and unusual. I have a friend I went to school with, he never cried in 35 years I knew him until his father died. He was uncontrollable that funeral day. The next day we chatted. I mentioned that his state the day before was how I felt every second day. He got some idea of the magnitude. Soon after I got the diagnosis

Bipolar2, depression, anxiety and...dysthymia. my psychiatrist discovered that a near drowning of my brother when I was 12yo was the spark, the shock that set it off. I didnt talk for 3 months after that incident and was highly emotional ever since until 2009 when he prescribed medication.

Since then my life has turned around in terms of sadness. If you believe your level of sadness is high, constant and you feel desperate, even suicidal, you might have dysthymia. It effects more women than men, can come about if you have a parent with a mental illness or if you suffered trauma at a young age.

Seek help. The difference to your life will be much more positive.

Tony WK

22 Replies 22

Community Member
Just a little of my background and please don't think I am just being "look at me". I am accused of that enough. I can relate to your situation as I have lived with ongoing grief and depression for many years. I am a retiree now and due to health issues all my plans for an enjoyable future are out the window. Each day a little bit of me dies. My catalyst was the death of my brother when he was just 16 years old. I was only 19 years old and already coping with being a father way too young. Just a few years later my beloved Grandfather died suddenly and then a couple of years later I lost my Dad to cancer. I turned into a very angry young man and it cost me a wife and my daughters. It's funny that we are the same age and your mention of emotional immaturity resonates with me. I have never really wanted to grow up. I have alienated plenty of people over the years and now I have no choice as I see it. Unless people walk the walk it is very difficult for them to understand what we going through.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi 83. You ate doing great here. No judging at all in this forum. This is a place of comfort.

Hi LC80

Spot on. Let me explain. When I got my dysthymia diagnosis my psych questioned me at length about my childhood. He kept asking what trauma occured to me. A few times I denied anything happened. Then my wife said "your brother in the swimming pool".

I explained that my older brother was a diabetic and we were swimming in an above ground pool when he had a fit. I managed to lift him over the edge, he fell on the ground and came to, to stagger to the house where he was given jam.

In shock I never spoke a word for 3 months. I was 12yo.

My psych said "that is the reason you have dysthymia"

So, it can be in line with trauma LC80​. Your young age trauma could easily be connected.

This is the benefit of forums as long as we are aware that diagnosis and circumstances are different for everyone and we should always get professional help with it, it is still beneficial to discuss it.

Thankyou 73 and LC80 for being here.

Tony WK

WK, My younger brother went out swimming with some friends at a lake on the 29/02/1976 here in Sydney and drowned. It was just an accident. He was a very fit football paying teenager, and he never came home. He was only 16 years old. My Mum and Dad were shattered and got a lot of support from extended family, but I got very little. Even as I type this I can feel the emotion coming up. I now know that he is still well remembered by his school friends and that is a comfort. Going through life without him has always been hard and the trauma of losing him has manifested itself in me many ways. I am ashamed of how I have treated people close to me and I have paid the price by them cutting off all contact. I won the lottery of life with my second wife as she has stuck with me.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Heart goes out to yaz


Community Member

Hello everyone

This is my first post here - or anywhere (on the internet) for that matter. Reading your posts and replies brings a level of comfort, knowing I am not alone. I've been struggling since I was a child (and after reading these posts I realise a sexual assault when I was 10 is the root cause) and now in my late 40s, the last decade have been especially difficult. But medication, professional help and gallows humour keeps things manageable - most of the time. Being dysthymic (I'm an academic and like to make fancy words sound even fancier), I find that my profession adds to the overall burden. The past 10 or so days have been especially hard, after a reasonable spell of good emotions. Tears are close to the surface or bubbling over, everyday is just plain hard work, and knowing that there is no rhyme nor reason for these feelings is sometimes the hardest part. I don't choose to feel this way. My thoughts are with you all and hope that you find comfort where and when you needed.


Re: "I am ashamed of how I have treated people close to me and I have paid the price by them cutting off all contact"

I believe there is a reason for everything and everyones behaviour.

People might treat others poorly for a variety of reasons....immaturity, jealousy, anger management issues, money, depression etc.

Once the cause has been realised then should follow apology. If thats not accepted...move on. In many instances the refusal to accept an apology is far worse that the ill deed in the first place.

Keep you dignity intact, remove the erosion of guilt and find new friends. Drop off the nasty and the ones that dont flex.

Leave them to themselves.

Tony WK

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Good for you DR 🙂

Glad you're finding some comfort here, sure is a good place to be and be able to shed without judgement.

Yeah it's horrid being in a miserable state of mind constantly isn't it.

Let the tears roll darl, it's an outlet, exhausting yes but so is being so low.

Sorry you've had to go through such horrid ordeals.

Hope to see you here again 🙂

Knight I believe too there's a reason for everything. I like to know why, then comes understanding and maybe solutions.

Ok you to DR hope yous find comfort somewhere along the way.

Let's get on top of this rot, I reckon it's in us

Sleep well all

Hi Dr AC

Sorry, I missed your post.

As I mentioned earlier, my emotions are in check now due to meds and therapy.

That feeling of tears near the surface is a feeling of fragility. Its also responsible for my poetry album and I can only write my poems when in that dysthymic state.

Losing my dysthymia after 4 decades was like losing a limb, it had become such a part of me. But it was also hindering me, my happiness, overall its unhealthy.

Im glad you dont feel alone Dr AC. There is hope in treatment. I hope you find the care you need.

Tony WK

Tony WK "Once the cause has been realised then should follow apology. If that's not accepted...move on. In many instances the refusal to accept an apology is far worse that the ill deed in the first place.Keep you dignity intact, remove the erosion of guilt and find new friends. Drop off the nasty and the ones that don't flex.Leave them to themselves."

I have ticked all those boxes, and I had to for my own good. I have no contact with my two daughters or any of the grandchildren, or my in laws. And, the in laws were never big fans of mine anyway, so no real loss there. I am comfortable being a grumpy old man who does not like being around kids, so not seeing the grandkids is not too hard on me really. Modern kids live in a parallel universe to me. The deep and abiding sorrow I have is that despite all my efforts to explain my mental health issues to my daughters and offer my profound apologies for my behavior, they just don't care and I do not exist to them. Fortunately, my closest friends do care about me. And, my wife has learnt that my physical health impacts on my mental health and visa versa interestingly. So things are better between us now than a number of years ago, and that is a good thing. That feeling of fragility is a burden that comes and goes. I am determined to lot let it smother me. Not like it has before.

Community Member
Dysthymia for me = my mood never getting up to a 'neutral' level for any significant period of time. I identify all of the reasons not to do something. I see no positivity in the world. I've rationalised why I don't like anything (when you weight the pros and cons of everything the cons always win)