The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) offers a description for dysthymic disorder, which is characterized as a person who feels depressed for the majority of days for at least two years.
Low energy, low appetite, and low self-esteem are typical symptoms for dysthymia sufferers and contribute to a diagnosis.
Diagnostic criteria include two or more of the following:
- Reduced self-esteem
- Decreased concentration
- Fatigue or low energy
- Decreased appetite
- Feeling of hopelessness, pessimistic
- Decreased or increased sleep
During the initial two years, the symptoms are ever present, but the patient hasn’t experienced a major depressive episode.
In addition, the patient hasn’t had manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes, and doesn’t fulfill the criteria under cyclothymic disorder.
Symptoms of double-depression are related to drug abuse and medical illness and may cause significant problems with respect to social, work, academic, or other life functioning.
In children and adolescents, the mood can be irritable and the duration lasting for at least a year in contrast to two years diagnosed for adults.
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