Dysthymia

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Dysthymia differs from major depression in that it is generally more chronic and is defined by fewer symptoms. The DSM-IV criteria for dysthymic disorder include a depressed mood for most days for at least 2 years in adults or at least 1 year in children and adolescents. In addition, two or more of the following six symptoms must be present: poor appetite or overeating, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness. The initial 2-year period must not have included a major depressive episode and the 2-year period of depression must not have been broken by a period of normal mood lasting more than 2 months.

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