Dysthymia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2020

Dysthymia is a form of long-term depression that produces symptoms that are not as disabling as those that would be needed to qualify for a diagnosis of major depression. Dysthymia is also known as dysthymic disorder.

Signs and symptoms of dysthymia can vary among affected individuals and can vary in severity. Symptoms may include

  • sadness,
  • anger,
  • general discontent,
  • guilt,
  • hopelessness,
  • loss of interest in daily activities,
  • excessive hunger,
  • fatigue, or
  • loss of appetite.

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

  • excess sleepiness or insomnia,
  • lack of concentration or slowness in activity,
  • indecisiveness,
  • irritability, and
  • low self-esteem.

Symptoms may last for years when untreated.

Cause of dysthymia

Like other forms of depression, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Other dysthymia symptoms and signs

  • Anger
  • Excess Sleepiness or Insomnia
  • Excessive Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • General Discontent
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Indecisiveness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of Concentration or Slowness in Activity
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Sadness


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.