Persistent Depressive Disorder (also known as Dysthymia) is a more chronic or ongoing, depression, often with fewer symptoms than Major Depressive Disorder.
Depressed mood is the key symptom in Persistent Depressive Disorder, present for more days than not for a minimum of 2 years in adults (in children and adolescents the mood difficulty is often irritability and this symptom is usually present for a minimum of 1 year).
This primary symptom is accompanied by at least two of the following symptoms: reduced or excessive appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, reduced concentration or decision-making capacity, feelings of hopelessness.
Persistent Depressive Disorder is sometimes less severe than Major Depression, although it lasts much longer and, therefore, individuals with this type of depression often go untreated. The symptoms also do cause disruption in social, occupational and other important areas of functioning.