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Ask the Experts


What are the main symptoms of dysthymic disorder?

Answered by: David Hellerstein

The main symptoms of dysthymic disorder include: depressed mood (lasting 2 or more years); feelings of hopelessness; poor concentration or difficulty making decisions; low self-esteem; low energy or fatigue; poor sleep; and poor appetite or overeating.

Our research studies have shown that there are more subtle symptoms of DD as well, which may be even more common. People with dysthymic disorder are also often socially withdrawn, and perform below their abilities at work and school.

They often find it difficult to take normal day-to-day risks such as asking someone out on a date, or calling to apply for a job. They are often easily discouraged, and often have difficulty completing tasks. They are often overly pessimistic.