Persistent Depressive Disorder, formerly referred to as Dysthymia, is a disorder in which a depressed mood is consistently experienced for a significant amount of years. In contrast to Major Depressive Disorder, depressive symptoms in this condition can be active for two years.
Similar to Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder can affect appetite, sleep, fatigue, feelings related to self-concept, and concentration.
Importantly, Persistent Depressive Disorder has received much less attention in the research literature and although it may be easy to assume that the effects of Major Depressive Disorder treatments would apply to individuals with Persistent Depressive Disorder, additional research is needed to clarify effective interventions. As the symptoms can be quite consistent in this disorder, it is possible that the degree to which individuals experience hopelessness, can be magnified.