Home Health Mental Health Depression What is Persistent Depressive Disorder?

What is Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Persistent Depressive Disorder

People of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds are susceptible to depression, a prevalent mental illness. Even though the majority of individuals occasionally feel sad or depressed, depression is more than just a brief attack of the blues. Depression is a severe illness that can lead to long-lasting changes in mood, energy, sleep, and appetite.

Depression can be a chronic illness for some people, lasting for months or even years. Persistent depressive disorder is the name for this type of depression (PDD). Along with other symptoms including low self-esteem, exhaustion, and difficulties concentrating and sleeping, people with PDD frequently experience a sad mood that lasts for at least two years.

Although the exact aetiology of PDD is unknown, it is thought to be a result of both hereditary and environmental factors. Typically, therapy, medication, or a combination of both are used to treat PDD. Most PDD sufferers can reduce their symptoms and lead somewhat normal lives with the help of medication.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

A chronic form of depression is known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), commonly referred to as dysthymia. A sad mood that lasts for at least two years is a feature of PDD (one year in children and adolescents). A person must have at least two of the following symptoms for the majority of the day, more often than not, for at least two years in order to be diagnosed with PDD: poor appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or exhaustion, low self-esteem, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness.

Although PDD can happen at any age, it usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood. PDD affects roughly 1-2% of the general population, making it a rather common condition. PDD is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, while the specific aetiology is unknown. Typically, therapy, medication, or a combination of both are used to treat PDD. Most PDD sufferers can reduce their symptoms and lead somewhat normal lives with the help of medication.

What Are The Symptoms Of Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Depending on the degree of the condition, PDD symptoms can differ from person to person. However, PDD is linked to a number of widespread symptoms. Feelings of helplessness, low self-esteem, and low vitality are some of these symptoms. Additionally, individuals with PDD may struggle to concentrate, sleep, eat, and carry out other daily tasks. Most PDD sufferers also go through episodes of severe depression. These spells, which can be crippling, might linger for weeks or months at a time.

How Is Persistent Depressive Disorder Diagnosed?

A health care provider will examine the patient and inquire about their symptoms and medical background to make the diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder. The individual will also receive a physical examination. In some circumstances, the medical expert could also request that the patient complete a questionnaire describing their symptoms. If the medical expert suspects PDD, they could advise the patient to get an evaluation from a mental health specialist.

What Are The Treatment Options For Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Treatment for persistent depressive illness is accessible in a variety of forms (PDD). Antidepressants, anxiety relievers, and mood stabilisers are some of the drugs that might be used. Additionally, other psychotherapy modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy, may be beneficial. Hospitalization may be required in specific circumstances. People who do not react to previous therapies may also be candidates for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The specific course of treatment will depend on the patient’s preferences and presenting symptoms. While some people might simply need medication, others might require both medication and treatment. Hospitalization may be required in specific circumstances. The purpose of treatment is to lessen PDD symptoms so that the patient can lead a somewhat normal life.


It is possible to treat PDD with a variety of different drugs. The most often given class of PDD medication is antidepressants. These drugs can ease additional PDD symptoms like poor energy and sleep issues while also helping to lift the mood. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are among the antidepressants frequently given for PDD (MAOIs).

For those with PDD, anti-anxiety drugs may also be recommended. These drugs may help you feel less anxious and sleep better. Benzodiazepines and buspirone are two examples of often prescribed anti-anxiety drugs.

PDD may also be treated with mood stabilisers. These drugs can ease various PDD symptoms and assist to stabilise mood fluctuations. Lithium carbonate and valproic acid are two often given mood stabilisers.


Psychotherapy can potentially be a successful PDD treatment in addition to medicines. Psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy that assists clients in recognising and altering their ideas and actions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and problem-solving therapy are a few psychotherapies that may be beneficial for PDD.

CBT can assist those who suffer from PDD in recognising and altering the negative thought patterns that worsen their disease. IPT can assist those who have PDD in comprehending and resolving relationship issues that may be a factor in their illness. People with PDD can learn strategies for handling stressful situations in a more constructive manner with the use of problem-solving treatment.


In rare circumstances, hospitalisation could be required to adequately treat PDD. Usually, this is only required if a person is exhibiting severe symptoms that cannot be successfully managed by medicine or psychotherapy by themselves. A hospital stay offers a secure setting where the patient can, if necessary, receive round-the-clock care and careful observation.

What Is The Prognosis For People With Persistent Depressive Disorder?

The prognosis is often good for people with chronic depressive illness. Most people will eventually recover with treatment, even if it may take several months to a year. Relapses are common, however they are frequently avoidable with continued therapy. Even though persistent depressive disorder has the potential to develop into a chronic illness, it rarely becomes worse.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Depressive disorders are a common mental health problem, with 16.2 million persons in the United States alone having experienced at least one major depressive episode in their lives.

What about those who experience a less severe kind of depression but is nevertheless debilitating?

This is where chronic depression enters the picture (PDD). Dysthymia, another name for PDD, is a long-lasting type of depression that can linger for years or even decades.

The symptoms can nonetheless significantly affect a person’s quality of life, even though they might not be as severe as those felt during a major depressive episode.

This page will go into greater detail on PDD, including its signs and symptoms, available therapies, and how it is identified in accordance with the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Persistent Depressive Disorder Physical Exercise

Exercise offers numerous advantages for overall physical health, but did you also know that it can be helpful in addressing mental health issues? This is particularly true for persistent depressive disorder (PDD), a long-lasting chronic form of depression.

When it comes to treating mild to moderate depression, regular aerobic exercise has been shown to be just as helpful as prescription drugs.

People with more severe kinds of depression have also found success with aerobic exercise.

What are the mechanisms that underlie this, then? Exercise can help you have a better night’s sleep, have more energy, and feel less stressed.

These are all recognised triggers or aggravating conditions for PDD.

Find an activity that you enjoy and can persist with because people who are sad sometimes struggle to keep to a fitness routine.

If you’re having trouble getting started, consider asking a friend or family member for assistance or enrolling in a group exercise class.

You’ll probably discover that exercising frequently gets easier and more fun if you get into the habit of doing so.

Don’t be afraid to try exercise if you have PDD; it can be the answer to managing your symptoms and enhancing your quality of life.

Persistent Depressive Disorder Medication

One of the most popular forms of treatment for chronic depressive disorder is medication (PDD). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are the three drug classes that are most frequently used for PDD (MAOIs).

The most popular class of medication for PDD is SSRIs. They function by raising serotonin levels in the brain. SSRIs frequently cause nausea, diarrhoea, migraines, and sexual dysfunction as adverse effects.

Another type of drug that may be used for PDD is tricyclic antidepressants. They function by preventing norepinephrine and serotonin from being reabsorbed. Tricyclic antidepressants frequently cause dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, and drowsiness as adverse effects.

A third kind of drug that may be administered for PDD is called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). They function by preventing the brain’s monoamines from being broken down. This raises the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. MAOIs have a variety of potentially harmful side effects, such as elevated blood pressure and urination problems. They are therefore typically only provided as a last option in cases when other drugs have failed to relieve symptoms.

The exact symptoms and medical background of each patient will be taken into consideration when choosing which drug to administer. Before beginning any new drug, it is crucial to speak with a doctor because there may be negative effects.

Persistent Depressive Disorder With Anxious Distress

Anxious distress is a frequent and incapacitating symptom of persistent depressive disorder (PDD). Those who experience anxious distress frequently have increased levels of concern, restlessness, and irritation. Consequently, it could be challenging to work or go about your usual business.

Medication and/or counselling are frequently used to treat PDD with anxious anxiety. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are some of the drugs that may be administered (MAOIs). The exact symptoms and medical background of each patient will be taken into consideration when choosing which drug to administer.

Ineffective treatments for PDD with anxious distress include therapy. It has been demonstrated that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective therapy for treating anxiety problems. The main goal of CBT is to support the individual in recognising and altering problematic thought patterns and behaviours.

Persistent Depressive Disorder Criteria

A form of depression known as persistent depressive disorder lasts for at least two years. Chronic depression or dysthymia are other names for it. PDD can make a person lose interest in past passions, feel despondent, and suffer from poor self-esteem. PDD is determined by the person’s symptoms and how long they have been present.

There are four main criteria used to diagnose PDD:

1.The person must have been depressed for at least two years, with most days being depressed. This might either be a lingering depressive state or a loss of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyable activities.

  1. Additionally, the person needs to exhibit at least two of the symptoms listed below:
  1. Overeating or having a poor appetite
  2. Hypersomnia or insomnia
  3. Lack of vigour or weariness
  4. A low sense of self
  5. Having trouble focusing or making judgements
  6. A sense of helplessness
  1. The symptoms must significantly hinder social, occupational, or other critical areas of functioning or cause great discomfort.
  2. Neither the existence of another medical issue nor substance addiction can account for the symptoms.

Persistent Depressive Disorder Dsm 5

The diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder underwent numerous revisions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) fifth edition (PDD). The main modification was the replacement of the DSM-one-year IV’s threshold for the disorder’s duration with a two-year minimum requirement. Additionally, it was determined that the category “with anxious distress,” which was included in DSM-5, had no appreciable impact on therapy or results. In order to more accurately reflect the disorder’s chronic nature, the DSM-5 also modified the disorder’s nomenclature from “dysthymia” to “persistent depressive disorder.”

These modifications were designed to ensure that patients receive an accurate diagnosis and to more accurately represent what is currently known about PDD. The extended duration criteria makes sure that patients who merely experience transient symptoms are not diagnosed with PDD. It is evident from the absence of the subgroup “with worried distress” that neither the course of treatment nor the outcome were significantly impacted. Finally, changing the disorder’s nomenclature from “dysthymia” to “persistent depressive disorder” highlights the fact that PDD is a long-lasting illness.

Persistent depressive disorder

It can be challenging to treat persistent depressive disorder, a significant mental condition. But many people with this disease can lead happy, fulfilling lives with the correct care. This article will discuss the signs, causes, and treatments of persistent depressive disorder as well as the outlook for those who suffer with this illness.


It is crucial to get professional assistance if you believe that you or a loved one may be experiencing persistent depressive illness. There is hope for healing because there are numerous efficient treatments for this ailment.

Last Words By The Author

The author’s concluding remarks on persistent depressive disorder are that while it is a mental illness that can be difficult to treat, many people with this disorder can live happy and fulfilling lives with the correct therapy. The author regrets not including a call to action encouraging readers to study more about the subject and more details on the prognosis for those who have this ailment.


What is persistent depressive disorder?

A form of depression that persists for at least two years is called persistent depressive disorder, commonly referred to as dysthymia. Numerous symptoms, such as depressed mood, low self-esteem, exhaustion, and trouble focusing, describe it. Even while the symptoms of persistent depressive illness are less severe than those of major depression, they can nevertheless be crippling and make it difficult to go about daily activities.

What are the causes of persistent depressive disorder?

Persistent depressive disorder is assumed to be brought on by a confluence of hereditary and environmental variables, while its specific aetiology is unknown. If they come from a family with a history of depression or another mental disease, some people may be more susceptible to developing the disorder. Stress, trauma, and certain medical problems are additional risk factors.

What are the symptoms of persistent depressive disorder?

Although the signs and symptoms of chronic depressive disorder might differ from person to person, they typically include exhaustion, difficulties concentrating, low mood, and low self-esteem. Changes in food and sleeping patterns, as well as depressing thoughts about themselves, are further symptoms of the disease. People with persistent depressive disorder may experience suicidal thoughts in severe circumstances.

How is persistent depressive disorder treated?

Medication and psychotherapy are two of the many efficient therapies for chronic depressive disorder. To get the best outcomes, it could be required in some circumstances to combine the two. The purpose of treatment is to reduce symptoms so that the patient can go about their daily activities normally.

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Greetings, I am Dr. Ashutosh Tripathi, a psychologist with extensive expertise in criminal behavior and its impact on psychological well-being. I hold a Master of Physics (Honors), a Master of Philosophy, a Master of Psychology, and a PhD in Psychology from BHU in India.Over the past 13 years, I have been privileged to serve more than 3200 patients with unique and varied psychological needs. My clinical work is guided by a deep passion for helping individuals navigate complex psychological issues and live more fulfilling lives.As a recognized contributor to the field of psychology, my articles have been published in esteemed Indian news forums, such as The Hindu, The Times of India, and Punjab Kesari. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been honored by the Government of Israel for my contributions to the Psychological Assistance Program.I remain committed to advancing our understanding of psychology and its applications through my ongoing research, which can be found on leading online libraries such as Science Direct, Wiley, Elsevier, Orcid, Google Scholar, and loop Frontiers. I am also an active contributor to Quora, where I share my insights on various psychological issues.Overall, I see myself as a lifelong student of psychology, constantly learning and growing from my patients, colleagues, and peers. I consider it a great privilege to have the opportunity to serve others in this field and to contribute to our collective understanding of the human mind and behavior.

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