Dysphoria – What it is and How it is Treated

About Dysphoria

The term ‘Dysphoria’ refers to a state of unease or general unhappiness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or restlessness and is often followed by bouts of anxiety, depression, and agitation. This emotional state can be a symptom of several mental or physical conditions. Dysphoria is the opposite of euphoria where a person experiences feelings of bliss, joy, and happiness.

The psychological state of dysphoria sends people into a void of emotional suffering and mental discomfort. While it isn’t classified as a mental disorder itself, this condition is often experienced by people who have different types of mental illness like bipolar disorder, for example.

Causes of Dysphoria

Causes of dysphoria can include grief, stress, relationship troubles, and other similar problems. Often times dysphoria is a mood, which means that some people can experience passing moments of dysphoria while others can exhibit the symptoms for longer periods of time. Long-term dysphoria is usually associated with the types of mental health issues that affect moods like depression, cyclothymia, or mania.

Physical health conditions like nutritional defects can also be responsible for dysphoria in some people, like those with hypoglycemia. Also, the stress of a chronic illness can lead to feelings of frustration and unhappiness which can be considered dysphoric.

Mental Health and Dysphoria – What is Dysphoric Mood?

Depression, generalized anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and chronic pain are just some of the conditions that can cause dysphoria.

Although dysphoria passes relatively quickly and normally for most people, some who experience long-term dysphoria have a higher risk of suicide, which is why it’s recommended that people with such chronic feelings of sadness contact a healthcare professional. A skilled therapist will be able to help those individuals to overcome the dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria

This is described as distress that is often present in people whose gender identity is different from the gender that they were assigned at birth. Individuals with gender dysphoria may find that this condition may begin to resolve when they transition or when they start to live as their true gender.

But because the transition process can often take years, sometimes involving surgery or hormone treatments, those individuals could still suffer from gender dysphoria (and other conditions like depression) during that transition period which is why it’s vitally important for them to get the necessary therapy to help them deal with their distress.

Treatment of Dysphoria

The condition of dysphoria is not a stand-alone diagnosis, but a symptom, so when people seek mental health care for dysphoric feelings, a common way of treatment involves psychotherapy which works by first identifying the underlying cause of the dysphoria before dealing with the feelings causing it.

Medication may be used depending on how severe the dysphoria and the conditions causing it are. Medical treatment may also be required if the underlying cause of their dysphoric symptoms is a physical health problem.

The therapist can also suggest some positive lifestyle changes that can make a world of difference which include engaging in hobbies, spending more time with loved ones, diet changes or routine changes – all of which can help to reduce dysphoria from someone’s life or even remove it completely.