Dysthymic Disorder or Persistent Depressive Disorder is a mild form of depression. It can cause the sufferer to have very long periods of moodiness, usually lasting years although symptoms may come and go at times. It is not as severe as other disorders of depression for example Bipolar Disorder, but it is a long lasting condition. Due to the fact that the symptoms are mild compared to other depressive disorders, many who suffer from this condition go undiagnosed. Many people put the condition simply down to being just a part of their character, and therefore do not discuss it with their doctor or seek any advice.
The symptoms of this disorder vary and can include sadness, tiredness, low self esteem and self-criticism, irritability, excessive anger and sleeping problems. The symptoms can come and go over the years, but sufferers of this condition rarely go longer than two months without the symptoms returning.
There are certain factors that are thought maybe can trigger this disorder. These include stress, financial problems, a bereavement, or a family history of the condition. It can also be linked to other mental health conditions for example dependency.
Dysthymic Disorder can lead to major depression, eating problems, substance abuse and to suicidal thoughts.