Dysthymia sometimes also called neurotic depression, dysthymic disorder, or chronic depression, is a mood disorder consisting of the same cognitive and physical problems as in depression, with less severe but longer-lasting symptoms. The concept was coined by Robert Spitzer as a replacement for the term "depressive personality" in the late 1970s. A milder yet more enduring type of major depression. People with dysthymia may appear to be chronically mildly depressed to the point that it seems to be a part of their personality. When a person finally seeks treatment for dysthymia, it is not uncommon that he/she has struggled with this condition for a number of years. Dysthymia often co-occurs with other mental disorders. A "double depression" is the occurrence of episodes of major depression in addition to dysthymia. Switching between periods of dysthymic moods and periods of hypomanic moods is indicative of cyclothymia, which is a mild variant of bipolar disorder.
Dysthymia symptoms in adults may include: Loss of interest in daily activities, Sadness or feeling down, Hopelessness, Tiredness and lack of energy, Low self-esteem, self-criticism or feeling incapable, Trouble concentrating and trouble making decisions, Irritability or excessive anger, Decreased activity, effectiveness and productivity, Avoidance of social activities, Feelings of guilt and worries over the past, Poor appetite or overeating, Sleep problems.
Globally dysthymia occurs in about 105 million people a year (1.5% of the population). It is slightly more common in women (1.8%) than in men (1.3%). The lifetime prevalence rate of dysthymia in community settings appears to range from 3 to 6% in the India. However, in primary care settings the rate is higher ranging from 5 to 15%. United States prevalence rates tend to be somewhat higher than rates in other countries.