Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), previously referred to as dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression that lasts for an extended period. Here are some key features and diagnostic criteria for PDD:

  1. Depressed Mood: Individuals with PDD experience a depressed mood most of the day, for more days than not, for at least two years in adults (or one year in children and adolescents). This differs from major depressive disorder, where the depressive episodes may be more intense but shorter in duration.

  2. Poor Appetite or Overeating: Changes in appetite are common in PDD, which can manifest as a decrease or increase in appetite.

  3. Insomnia or Hypersomnia: Individuals may experience difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or excessive sleepiness (hypersomnia).

  4. Low Energy or Fatigue: Persistent feelings of fatigue, lack of energy, or diminished physical stamina, often unrelated to exertion.

  5. Low Self-Esteem: Individuals with PDD tend to have feelings of inadequacy, low self-worth, or excessive self-criticism.

  6. Poor Concentration or Difficulty Making Decisions: Difficulty focusing, making decisions, or maintaining productivity is often observed in individuals with PDD.

  7. Feelings of Hopelessness: Persistent feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, or a sense of being trapped in a difficult situation.

During the two-year period (or one year for children/adolescents), the individual should not be without depressive symptoms for more than two months at a time. Additionally, the symptoms of PDD should cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

PDD is a long-lasting condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and overall well-being. Treatment options for PDD are similar to those for major depressive disorder and may include psychotherapy, medication (such as antidepressants), and lifestyle changes. It’s important to consult a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PDD.

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