Identify Dysthymic Disorder


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.

Who Is Affected by Dysthymic Disorder?

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.

How Is Dysthymic Disorder Diagnosed?

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.

What Are the Symptoms of Dysthymic Disorder?

Symptoms, which can be described as low-level depression, vary in severity, frequency and duration for each individual affected:

  • Issues with Eating: Some people may lose their appetite and lose weight. Others may overeat, resulting in weight gain.
  • Issues with Sleep: Some people may experience difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the entire night. Others may sleep excessively.
  • Concentration Problems: At times, some people may not be able to concentrate on school work, job responsibilities, and/or home responsibilities.
  • Energy Loss: For some people, there is a loss of normal energy to get things accomplished throughout the day.
  • Self-Esteem Loss: Some people lose confidence in themselves or may dwell on mistakes they made in the past or loved ones lost.
  • Source: National Institute of Mental Health


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