What is it?
Dysthymic disorder is a form of chronic depression. It causes continuous and prolonged feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can affect your mood and behavior as well as physical functions, including appetite and sleep.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms in dysthymic disorder are less severe and longer lasting in comparison to depression with symptoms occurring on most days for at least two years. So the chronic nature of this disease can also make it more challenging to cope with. This type of depression is mild, so family members and friends may not even know that their loved one is depressed. Symptoms often appear during childhood or adolescence and they can persist for years and may interfere with school, work, and personal relationships. Children and teens with can feel irritable instead of depressed. Their symptoms last for at least 1 year. The main symptom of dysthymic disorder in adults is a sad, low, or dark mood on most days. Other symptoms include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
- Sleep problems.
- Low energy.
- A change in appetite.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- A lack of interest in daily activities.
- Decreased productivity.
- Poor self-esteem.
- A negative attitude.
- Avoidance of social activities.
Other symptoms that happen much of the time include:
- Poor appetite or overeating.
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Low self-esteem.
- Poor concentration.
- Low energy.
- Feelings of hopelessness.
People who have PDD may have periods of normal mood that can last up to 2 months.
What to expect?
In addition to treatment by your doctor or psychologist you can try the following things:
- Maintaining a normal rhythm by going to sleep at normal times and getting out of bed early in the morning.
- Try to keep doing your normal daily activities.
- Try stay active by doing sports or taking a walk.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol as they may worsen the feeling of sadness.