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Dysthymic disorder – also referred to as dysthymia – is a mood disorder in which people have what is characterized as chronic low-level depression.
In dysthymic disorder, the symptoms sufferers experience are not as severe as those seen in major depressive disorder, but they can be bothersome enough to make sufferers not feel well and can affect daily life.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1.5 percent of adult Americans suffer from dysthymic disorder. The average age of onset of this form of depression is 31 years of age.
If a person experiences symptoms of depression for more than two years, but the symptoms are not severe enough to be classified as major depressive disorder, the person may be affected with dysthymic disorder.
Symptoms, which can be described as low-level depression, vary in severity, frequency and duration for each individual affected:
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
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