What is Persistent Depressive Disorder – Dysthymia

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is also known as Dysthymia. It is a form of Chronic Depressive Disorder with long-lasting persistent depression disorder symptoms. People suffering from Persistent Depressive Disorder experience a depressive state for at least two years. 


A person who suffers from Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) may lose interest in life in general, find it difficult to be happy, or struggle to relax even during a happy occasion.  Persistent Depression Disorder is not as extreme as Major Depressive Disorder, but it does last for a longer time. 

Due to the nature of Chronic Depressive Disorder, dealing with the symptoms of Persistent Disorder can be difficult, but a proper Persistent Depressive Disorder treatment plan can be helpful.

A girl is in Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) Symptoms – Dysthymia Symptoms

⦁ Fatigue / Lack of energy
⦁ Losing interest and feeling of pleasure in life
⦁ Low self-esteem
⦁ Poor mood
⦁ Irritable mood
⦁ Loss of productivity
⦁ Social anxiety
⦁ Persistent feelings of sadness
⦁ Feeling of pressure and guilt
⦁ Feelings of helplessness
⦁ Hopelessness
⦁ Excessive or decreased appetite
⦁ Sleeping difficulties
⦁ Trouble concentrating

The exact cause of the persistent depressive disorder is not known. As with major depression, it may involve more than one cause such as:

Brain chemistry: Neurotransmitters of the brain do play a role in the incidence of depression. Research recommends that changes in mood and the function of neurotransmitters are responsible for maintaining mood stability. 

Traumatic Life events: Like major depression, traumatic events in life such as losing a loved one, financial crisis, childhood abuse, domestic violence, or a major accident can give rise to persistent depressive disorders.

Environmental factors: Stressful situations such as loss, grief, major life changes, and excessive stressors can trigger PDD Depression. 

Biological differences: People with PDD Depression may have physical changes in their brains, but the causes of these changes are not known. 

Inherited traits: Having close family members with a history of depression increases the risk of developing depression for an individual.

Risk Factors for Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

  •  You have a family history of persistent depressive disorder
  •  You have a history of other physiological or psychological disorders, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder
  •  Specific personality traits such as low self-esteem or being too dependent
  •  You have recently witnessed a traumatic life event

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) Causes

These are considered the most common Persistent Depressive Disorder Symptoms or Dysthymia Symptoms.

  • Anxiety or antisocial behavior
  •  Relationship difficulties and work problems
  •  Poor image and reduced quality of life
  •  Personality disorders or other mental health disorders
  •  Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  •  Social isolation
  •  Substance abuse
  •  Poor physical and mental health

Persistent Depressive Disorder Diagnosis

Persistent Depression might be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are usually very long-lasting and people believe that the Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) symptoms are just their nature or personality. If you are suffering from Persistent Depressive Disorder symptoms, you should see your health care provider or mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis. Your heath care professional will conduct a complete history and also asses if substance use/abuse is the cause. 

Coping with Persistent Depressive Disorder

There are different methods that can be useful to help you cope with persistent depressive disorder symptoms, and get better Persistent Depressive Disorder treatment. Lifestyle changes and self-care become paramount to dealing with chronic depression. Some of these strategies are: 

⦁ Regular exercise
⦁ Practice meditation
⦁ Spend some time with nature
⦁ Make some leisure time for yourself.
⦁ Get plenty of sleep
⦁ Manage stress, to increase your resilience self-esteem.
⦁ Maintain medicinal treatments
⦁ Consider getting treatment help to prevent re-occurrence of symptoms.
⦁ In times of crisis reach out to family and friends.
⦁ Seeking treatment at the earliest stage of depression helps it from getting worse. 
⦁ Keep your focus on the brighter side

When should you seek Persistent Depressive Disorder treatment?

Since the Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) symptoms go on for a long time you may consider it part of your life. If you recognize persistent depression symptoms like unexplainable emotional changes, sudden loss of interest in almost everything, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, or suicidal thoughts, etc., you should seek the assistance of mental health professional. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder Treatment

The Persistent Depressive Disorder treatment is similar to other treatments for depression. Usually, a combination of psychotherapy and medications is the most effective.

  • Psychotherapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy
  • Medications such as antidepressants or antianxiety agents