Dysthymia - Definition

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Dysthymia is a persistent depressive disorder accompanied by a host of chronic, but not severe, symptoms. The diagnosis of dysthymia rests on very precise criteria described in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Adult patients display deep sadness, whereas adolescent and child patients are often subject to irritability. Among the recurrent symptoms of dysthymia are difficulty making decisions, fatigue, hyperphagia, low self-esteem, and sleep disorders.