Double Depression-: What It Is and What to Do If You Have It

Double depression is a psychiatric illness called Dysthymia. Dysthymia is referred to as mild, chronic depression with fewer symptoms, mostly low energy or low self-esteem that linger for a more extended period like two years in adults and one year in kids. This “dark mode” or “phase of sadness” can be prolonged for many years too. These fewer symptoms go on increasing and worsen the Dysthymia and can result in severe depression. This depression on top of Dysthymia is called Double Depression.


Researches are still going on to find the exact causes of Dysthymia or Double Depression. But studies show that there are various contributors to depression problems such as
i) genes

  1. ii) Family history of Depression

iii) Abnormal brain circuits regulating mood

  1. iv) Trauma events
    v) life stressors
  2. vi) Chronic illness
    vii) medications
    viii) Work stress
  3. ix) Relationship or breakups
    x) Loss of closed ones

All of the above reasons can cause Dysthymia, and the increasing symptoms can top depression more. The more time any person is exposed to the depression phase, the faster their chances to diagnose with double depression.


Depression symptoms are easily visible to a person who is watching a depressed. But it is often not visible to a depressed person him/herself even though he/she experiences it. The symptoms include:

i) Depressed or sad mood almost most of the day and every day

  1. ii) Extreme hopelessness

iii) Low on energy or restlessness that is visible

  1. iv) Weight gain or appetite
  2. v) Lack of focus or concentration
  3. vi) Insomnia or oversleeping

vii) The feeling of loss of control over life

viii) Existential crisis or low self-esteem

  1. ix) Loss of interest in life activities
  2. x) Suicidal thoughts, agitated behavior

    Not all of the symptoms need to show up together or be experienced at a time. There can be only 2-3 symptoms that might be significant contributors to driving the depression. Most of the time, depression starts with the isolation that is a preference to stay alone, a sense of worthlessness, running away from real-world and oversleeping or insomnia due to excessive negative thoughts.

Over some time, these symptoms go on increasing. One sign becomes the cause of others, and this prolonged phase over some time develops double depression that can even stay for decades.

Diagnosing Double Depression

Doule Depression is said to be the most severe treating depression as it has already crossed the two years of Dysthymia and has developed over the years because it has been not correctly diagnosed before. The solution of Double Depression is its prevention in early stages. But once this stage is crossed, the depression survivor has become a changed person, and depression has already taken over his mind.

The right ways to diagnose the depression are seeking out help, and a lot of depression victims exactly fail at it, which results in worsening the situation. Treating the Dysthymia first is the only way to reduce the level of double depression.
Here are some possible ways of treating Double Depression:

i) Antidepressants: Antidepressants drugs help to balance chemicals in the brain that affect moods.
ii) Psychotherapies: Cognitive therapy or Cognitive psychotherapy can help to understand details and treat the patient to change their negative thoughts or perspective to develop a positive approach.

iii) Interpersonal therapy: Therapy that involves breaking the person’s fears or overcoming them by putting them in various situations during counseling.

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