Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), formerly recognized as dysthymia, is a relatively recent classification in the DSM-5, characterized by enduring depression. PDD consolidates two previous diagnoses: chronic major depressive disorder and dysthymia.

Individuals with PDD may encounter profound feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or helplessness, akin to other forms of depression. However, in PDD, these symptoms endure for extended periods, spanning many years. The symptoms of persistent depressive disorder closely resemble those of major depressive disorder but are distinguished by their chronic nature, persisting for most days over a minimum period of two years in adults and one year in children and adolescents. This enduring state of depressive symptoms can be likened to a perpetual dark cloud looming overhead, persisting for two years or more.

In contrast to major depressive disorder, where individuals may experience intermittent periods of improvement, those with dysthymia endure almost constant depressive symptoms over an extended duration. The pervasive nature of these symptoms gives the impression that the metaphorical “black cloud” never dissipates.


  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy
  2. Medications including SSRI’s or SNRI’s
  3. St. Johns wort in mild cases
  4. Diet and exercise
  5. Social planning with friends
  6. Stress management


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