Course Content
Beyond The Blue: A Comprehensive Guide To Depression-Related Disorders
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What is Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)?

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), formerly known as Dysthymia, is a chronic mood disorder characterized by long-term and persistent symptoms of depression. Unlike Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which is characterized by episodes of intense depressive symptoms, PDD involves milder but more persistent symptoms that last for an extended period of time, typically for at least two years or more.

Here are key features of Persistent Depressive Disorder:

Chronic Depressive Symptoms. Individuals with PDD experience a depressed mood for most of the day, on most days, for at least two years or longer. The depressive symptoms are generally less severe than those experienced in MDD but are present for a more extended period.

Additional Symptoms. Along with the persistent depressed mood, individuals with PDD may also experience other symptoms such as changes in appetite (overeating or poor appetite), sleep disturbances (insomnia or hypersomnia), low energy or fatigue, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, feelings of hopelessness, and low self-esteem.

Interference with Functioning. PDD can significantly impair various aspects of an individual’s life, including work or school performance, relationships, and overall quality of life. The chronic nature of the disorder can lead to a sense of resignation and acceptance of the low mood as a part of one’s personality.

Co-Occurrence with MDD. It’s not uncommon for individuals with PDD to experience episodes of major depression, known as double depression, where they have both persistent depressive symptoms and episodes of more severe depression.

Onset and Course. Persistent Depressive Disorder often begins in adolescence or early adulthood, but it can start at any age. The symptoms may persist continuously or have periods of remission and relapse over time.

It’s essential to note that although the symptoms of PDD are generally milder than those of MDD, they can still cause significant distress and negatively impact a person’s life. PDD may also increase the risk of developing major depressive episodes.