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Identify Symptoms of Dysthymia


Dysthymia, also called dysthymic disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by chronic low-level depression.

Those who suffer from dysthymia are often thought of as incapable of having fun, constantly complaining or overly critical because sufferers feel inadequate, hopeless and have low self-esteem.

If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from this form of depression, it is important to seek treatment so that dysthymia doesn’t continue to affect everyday life.

Dysthymia Overview

Approximately 1.5 percent of American adults suffer from dysthymia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI). The average age of onset for dysthymia is 31 years.

Dysthymia Symptoms

A person who experiences symptoms of depression for more than two years, but the symptoms are not severe enough to be classified as major depression or major depressive disorder, may have dysthymia.

Symptoms of dysthymia vary in severity, frequency and duration for each individual affected. Symptoms of dysthymia include:

  • Eating Issues: Some people with dysthymia may lose their appetite and lose weight. Others may overeat, resulting in weight gain.
  • Sleep Issues: Some people experience difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the entire night. Others may sleep excessively and not want to wake up to face the day.
  • Concentration Issues: For some with dysthymia, the ability to concentrate on simple, everyday tasks is difficult.
  • Energy Issues: For some people, there is a loss of normal energy to get things accomplished throughout the day.
  • Self-Esteem Issues: Some people with dysthymia have low self-esteem, lose confidence in themselves or dwell on mistakes they made in the past or loved ones lost.

Overall, the symptoms can be described as having a low level of depression. However, just because these symptoms are not as severe as major depression, it is important not to ignore them.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health