What is Dysthymia? (Chronic Depression Disorder Explained)

You may not have heard of dysthymia before, but it is one of the most common types of depression. Dysthymia is a mild but long-term (chronic) form of depression. Symptoms usually last for at least two years, and often for much longer than that.

Dysthmia prevents you from being able to function day-to-day and enjoy your life. Those suffering from dysthymia may not be able to remember a time where they felt happy, motivated, or excited. Often times it seems like you have suffered from depression all your life. Rather then enjoying life, you may be inactive and withdraw from family and friends. You may be very critical towards yourself and have a constant negative inner voice. Other common symptoms include feeling guilty, easily irritable, fatigued, and difficulty either falling asleep or waking up.

Often because dysthymia is a mild, long-term depression, it goes untreated for years and thought of to be just part of someones personality. Frequently dysthymia develops early in a persons life, leading them to believe it’s normal to always feel depressed. Because of this, dysthymia often goes unnoticed and untreated. This is quite unfortunate because with experienced help, dysthymia sufferers are able to find relief and prevent their disorder from worsening. If you think your child may be suffering from dysthymia, it’s very important to receive a mental health evaluation as early as possible. Early treatment of dysthymia can prevent the onset of anxiety, more serious disorders or possible substance abuse as they get older.


Women are 2-3x more likely then men to develop dysthymia, and 3% of the US population is affected by dysthymia at any point of time. 10% of those that have dysthymia will go on to develop major depression, so early diagnosis and treatment is vital.

If you or someone you love may be suffering from dysthymia (chronic depression), our expert & caring team at Delray Beach Psychiatrist is available to assist you. Contact us today to set up your dysthymia disorder appointment so we may discuss your concerns & help you get back on track to living the life you deserve.