What is Dysphoria?

Dysphoria is a sense of dissatisfaction, anxiety, restlessness, or feeling like something is missing in life. It is often described as an emotional disturbance, similar to depression, but with a more general focus.

Symptoms of Dysphoria

Common symptoms of dysphoria can include:

  • Depression or feelings of sadness
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Low self-esteem or low self-confidence
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Sexual dissatisfaction
  • Irritability
  • General dissatisfaction with life
  • Difficulty concentrating

Causes of Dysphoria

There are many potential causes of dysphoria. These can include:

  • Stress or trauma
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Feeling trapped in an unsatisfying job or relationship
  • Feeling disconnected from one's environment
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Lack of meaningful relationships or social connections
  • A physical health condition or chronic pain

Treatment for Dysphoria

Treatment for dysphoria can include:

  • Psychotherapy – talk therapy with a mental health professional
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – a type of therapy used to identify and change unhealthy thought patterns
  • Medications – antidepressants, or a combination of medications and therapy is sometimes recommended
  • Lifestyle changes – including healthier eating, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and social activities


Dysphoria can be a difficult experience, but it can be managed effectively with the right combination of therapies and lifestyle changes. Talking to a healthcare provider about your symptoms is the first step in finding the best treatment plan for your individual needs.