What is Dysthymia – Persistent Depressive Disorder – Mental Health with Kati Morton | Kati Morton

Hey everybody. Today I want to talk with you
about Dysthymia. Or Persistent Depressive Disorder. What is that? And what do we do if we have it? So stay tuned. So like I said, Today I’m going to talk to you
about Dysthymia. In the DSM 5, they changed the name to be
Persistent Depressive Disorder. But the symptoms aren’t any different. And the diagnostic criteria
hasn’t changed. So whatever we call it,
it’s still the same diagnosis. And for my benifit. I’m going to call it Dysthymia. Because that’s what I went to school
and you know we called it that. I was studying for my exams,
we called it that. So, today I am going to talk to you
about Dysthymia. I know many of you have reached out and
said that you have that diagnosis. And what makes Dysthymia different
from Major Depressive Disorder. Is that Dysthymia is a little bit of a
lower grade depression. That goes on for a really long period of time. In order to get the diagnosis. You have to have had this depression for
at least two years. If you are a child, one year. And the symptoms can’t go away. Or subside for more than
two months at a time. So you can see how hard this could
be to have. Because what that means is that
you are feeling down and gloomy. You’re not enjoying your
activities like you used to. For a really long period of time. And often, I find my clients
who struggle with this. Will even report back to me about
different situations. Or maybe occasions and celebrations
they were a part of. And they will just kind of talk about them
like they were gloomy days. It wasn’t that great. Oh it was okay. Nothing gets them really excited. And the thing that I really want to talk
with you most about. More so than the diagnostic criteria. Because it’s similar to that of depression. Is get help for it sooner
rather than later. I find people who struggle with Dysthymia, Have been, they had this low grade
depression for years and years and years. Before they ever talk to someone. I was just reading an article
the other day, Saying that the average person with
depression, not even Dysthymia, The average person with depression doesn’t
reach out for help until they have been. Struggling for about two years. That’s the average. And another fact I found is that, it’s
almost 15 years for some people, By the time that they get the help that
they actually needed. And that’s why sharing these
videos is so important. Because the sooner we can
reach out to people. And the sooner people reach out for help. The sooner they can feel better. We can get the support that we need. Because, depression is a serious thing. Dysthymia is a serious diagnosis. And the way that you would know if you
are struggling with it. Is if you have some of these symptoms
that I will tell you about. The number one, and the most
important to notice, Is a loss of interest in things that you
used to enjoy. I called it in my other video, anhedonia. Because that’s the term that we use in
the therapy world. But it really just means that you don’t
like things that you used to like. Like I have a couple of clients who
used to love to paint or sing. And they are just not doing it anymore. Because it just doesn’t bring them the
joy it used to. Notice that that’s happening to you. Speak up. Reach out for help. Another way to notice is, If you have a loss of appetite. Or maybe an increased appetite. Can also not sleep at all,
you struggle to sleep. Or you may want to sleep all day long. And never want to get out of bed. Getting out of bed is like the
hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. Everybody experiences this differently. But if you are noticing shifts in your
behaviour, and your enjoyment of life. If you are just feeling really
hopeless and gloomy. If your confidence is kind of just
going down. Notice these things. Because it could be a sign or a symptom
of something bigger. And the sooner we can get diagnosed. The better the outcome. Right. Now the one differentiation
I want to make. Is when we are adults. It’s those symptoms that I
was just talking about. That’s how we diagnose it. We may not enjoy things. We struggle to sleep. Or we sleep too much. We eat too little. Or we eat too much. All of those things. Now if we are a child. We are under 18. It tends to represent itself more in
the irritability component. And lashing out. A lot of people say that it goes
hand in hand with ADD or ADHD diagnosis. Most children also meet the criteria
for Dysthymia. And they will struggle in school. They’ll have trouble in social situations. They lack the social skills of
children their age. They will yell at teachers. They are irritable with friends. They are irritable with their parents. They kind of are just struggling
to feel comfortable. They are feeling really down. They don’t know what’s wrong. And they are frustrated. I think that’s the number one thing
that children will say to me. Is: ‘I just feel really frustrated.’ And no wonder. If you are just feeling really down and
gloomy all of the time. And everybody else around you is seeming
to have, you know, Being hunky dory, everything’s good. It would feel kind of bad, right. And so the thing that’s important to
remember is, With children it goes on
undiagnosed a lot. They say it’s ADD or ADHD. They don’t look further. They don’t find out if they
are feeling hopeless. Or they are feeling down. They don’t ask them about it. Because it presents itself differently. So know that if you are having
those symptoms. And you’re a child. It’s not like the adult. It could be the same thing. It’s okay to reach out for help. It’s okay to ask your doctor if maybe
it’s something else. If they have already diagnosed
you as ADD. And they have kind of pushed it off. and you just have a prescription
you fill every month. Or whatever. It’s okay to ask again. The thing about Dysthymia that bothers
me the most. Is that it goes undiagnosed. And untreated for years. So if you find yourself struggling with this. And you, or this is a diagnosis
you’ve just received. Not all is lost. The sooner we reach out for help. The sooner we start talking about it. The sooner we start looking for
support systems and groups. And friends. And people who can make sure that we are
getting out of the house every day. The sooner we can start feeling better. And more like oursleves. Because the most important thing
with my clients. I don’t want them to lose sight
of who they are. And how things used to be. How great things can be in
the future. Because you can get there too. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. I put out videos five days a week. And you don’t want to miss them. Right. And also leave your comments below. I’m always reading through those. If you have any feedback or any videos
you’d like me to make. I’m always looking through those For some good tips and tricks. And I answer questions. Also don’t forget to like this video. You can find me on twitter. And tumblr. And facebook. And instagram. I’m everywhere. And don’t forget to check out
katimorton.com Because we’ve got great things
going on there too. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

About the author


  1. What would be a realistic duration to recover from Dystymia? Or is it something you learn to coop with. This remains unclear to me..

  2. Dysthymia is mode of existence. Everyday I wake up the first thing I think is…"FUCK."

    This has always been my life. 2 yrs….Try 33…….FUCK

  3. The thing is, it's not that bad I keep thinking I could live with it also the idea of going to therapy it just sounds so tiring specially that l know for sure I don't just have one problem but that doesn't mean I didn't try to seek any kind of help but it felt unnatural I just don't like to feel nice.

  4. I’ve had this for more than 20 years. Took me 5 years before I got help. My parents had no understanding of this stuff, so they were no help whatsoever. I did it on my own in college. Went to my school’s counseling services. Can’t say it’s been life-changing for me, personally. This is still an ongoing struggle.

  5. I went to therapy and doctors, yet they dont understand it and call me healthy. Altho ive been severely depressed since childhood, i dont remember being healthy. Any tips? Im on anti depressants now but they dont help so far.

  6. I snuck a peek of notes on my counselor's desk. Saw the word "dysthymia". She did not use the term with me directly.
    This was years ago. I have symptoms of dysthymia but it is not what I am. It is not WHO I am.
    Now I am going through the grief process. My mom died in September. My inner child didn't feel loved by my mom.
    Now she has passed. My pain is this unpressed sadness. Dysthymia plus grief. Not a fun combination.

  7. So how do you know if you have a decrreased interest in activities when you can't remember any change in the way you feel as far as your memory goes? I'm serious about the question…. questionaires for depression always ask you if have you felt a decrease of appetite/interest whatever for at least two weeks. But I haven't felt any "decrease". I feel as I feel for a long time and I don't know what I felt before. And where is the line between having dysthymia and just being kind of damaged? When is it just a neurotic and negative personality, you know what I mean? Does every kind of damage fill the criteria for some psychological diagnosis or is there an diagnosis only when you overstep a certain pont of intensity and quantity of your mental struggles?

  8. Hi, Kati. Very informative video, thank you. I know it’s an old video so I hope you or one of your followers can help, no doubt I have this but I don’t have medical insurance, what can I do or who can I reach out too? Thanks so much for all you do for us!

  9. I have dysthymia. I was diagnosed when I was 18. I am now 23. But I think I have been dysthymic as a child but never got diagnosed

  10. When you say the symptoms have to last for two months, do you mean they have to be there 24 hours a day? Because I have some of them, but they aren't there constantly.

  11. I was in front tow of a concert to me favourite band and when it started, I just stood there and felt awkward. It was so weird.

  12. It's been half my life. I thought life just sucks for everyone and it's all people pretending that joy is real bc that's what's 'normal'

  13. what if nothing ever exited me that much…? I was always gloomy, didn't talk much, had no interests until I discovered youtube videos…

  14. I am 15 and was recently diagnosed with dysthymia and have been dealing with this for 2 years and my family and I have been struggling with this still even with a lot of outside help. It has turned my life into an absolute shit storm, I don’t like doing anything any more and I don’t know what to do anymore.

  15. I wanna check my symptoms
    Losing interest CHECK
    Sleeping too much or too little CHECK
    Confidence lowering CHECK
    Does this mean I have dysthymia??? 😱😱

  16. I've had dysthymia for almost 4 years. I was diagnosed on May 14, 2015. On my birthday I am now 13. I lost interest in basketball, football, baseball, softball, and playing video games. So I just sit at home I have friends but they live somewhere else, but they are always busy. So I am feeling down everyday. I have a hard time at school. My teachers say their is nothing wrong with me but there is. I just don't say anything about my dysthymia. Also I have break downs and start crying or punching the walls. I have a low self esteem, my knuckles are always bruised and bleeding. People ask me why I keep doing this but I don't say anything.

  17. I’m afraid to tell my parents will think I’m lying. I’ve asked to go to a therapist but they said I don’t need it that I’m just overreacting

  18. I just came to know that I have this yesterday after 6 months of therapy and my counsellor decided to hand over my case to some other counsellor.

  19. i've been diagnosed with this for about a year and i still barely understand it. For the past few months ive been getting a bit better i've been having breakfast, ive moved to my computer instead of my bed, i've stopped self harming. I also started work and that triggered a massive mental break-down, I think i went crazy. It seemed like all of the emotions that I never wanted to feel again were amplified. It made me think that i was lying to myself that i wasn't getting better, that i was just running away from what i really was acting like. But really I had just started my first job after not being at school for half a year, and i wasn't used to being anywhere but my in room.

  20. I was told by a psychologist that I have this plus disassociation when my anxiety is at its worst. I tend to slip into major depression and then back to Dysthymia. It’s exhausting 🙄 trying to put a smile on and pretend nothing is wrong when everything is wrong

  21. I'm not sure if i have Dysthymia, i had alot of symptoms as a kid that carried throughout middle school, but i've pushed it off as me over reacting or seeking attention, the things is though, i've been.. considering suicide and such for a few years now. I feel myself falling back to my old ways again, and i don't know what to do..

  22. This is my diagnosis, onset at adolescence and persisting still. I've never actually been suicidal and I never understood why but I wrote my first suicide note at age 12. I've tried CBT, medications of all kind – everything that I've been able to in order to make myself "better" for 15 years. Nothing changes.

  23. Is it possible to be born with this and still have it at age 65 even after being on anti depressants for years and now being off them? I felt the same on meds and off.But slightly more slowed down when off meds.I don't want to go back on them because of side effects.I've tried about 5 different antidepressants.The best thing I took was methylphenidate which I called my "cleaning pill".I don't know what to do except keep living one day at a time.I actually feel better off the meds but I wonder if this is just who I am and nothing will ever change it?

  24. Interesting topic, recently was asked to focus on an event that made me totally happy and couldn't really find one, yes there have been up's and successes but each of them have led to equal downs and I can't view one without the other which leaves me in a self destructive/defeating loop that I cannot seem to break.

  25. I think I might have this? I stay in bed a lot regretting that I didn't do more in my 20s. I'm 47 now and I feel like I haven't done anything but be depressed for the last 15 or so years now. I sleep a lot and I feel like it's too late for me to do anything or to get that part of my life back. I also don't enjoy doing things that I used to. I'm trying to get a therapist. But I'm on a waiting list for the best one in town. Which is really depressing too.🙄. Does anyone else out there feel like this to? And what have you done about it? And what do you think I have? I've been diagnosed with major depression in the past but I think it's went beyond that by now.🤔😶

  26. I was diagnosed with Dysthymia (PDD) 4 years ago. I had never heard of it before that. I turn 25 next month and I have had the symptoms of Dysthymia (PDD) since I was a child around 7 years old. Reading the DSM and other online info was a surreal moment for me after diagnosis – I finally had a scientific explanation of exactly what I had felt inside my whole life and was able to read and relate to other people!
    My mom killed herself a month after my 18th birthday. Her father (my grandfather) also took his own life. They were never diagnosed with Dysthymia (PDD) and I am not a therapist but I saw a lot of my traits in them. When I was 20 I had my first real attempted suicide – waking up in the ER to the catheter they put in me when I arrived being yanked out (let me tell you that is THE worst way to wake up).
    Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder fucking sucks. And it is absolutely going to try its damn hardest to control your EVERYTHING (mind, life, motivation, confidence, relationships, etc) and if i could give one piece of advice:
    FIND MEDS THAT WORK. TAKE THEM CONSISTENTLY (or have someone be the one to administer them to you which helped me the most not letting my bad days decide for me if i was gonna take my meds or not) FIND A THERAPIST AND WORK ON CBT/DBT. WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOUVE MADE PROGRESS AND THAT EVERYTHING IS BETTER AND GONNA BE OKAY I PROMISE YOU THAT IS WHEN YOU ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE TO LOSING CONTROL AGAIN. once you have some grip on your mental health do. not. let. go. cause to climb out next time its gonna be even harder.

  27. Over the past five years I had begun to have progressively pull away into a downward spiral of depression. But today I can truly state that I desired to live and help a lot of people by the aid of this depression therapy “fetching kafon press” (Google it). Right now, I can really claim that I`m free of depression..

  28. what if you just never have anything you like? like u just never like to eat, or u just never have hobby or just never have strong passion for anything? like you just professionally like everything, not too much not too disliking it…

  29. Should I start on paxil, I'm really paranoid about taking it I been dealing with panic disorder and anxiety which caused me mild depression but I'm so affraid to take the medicines…messes with the head and that's scary for me

  30. I know this video is really old, but I just was diagnosed with it and i totally makes sense. I've never felt truly happy in my entire life and i just hope, that it will get better someday. That maybe I'll have my better days more often in the future. This year for the first time in ages I felt like i really took interest in something and I hope and dream that this will give my life a little bit of sense.

  31. I've had this for 30 years. It's been a struggle but I've had times where I was happy and enjoying things. I take medication and that helps a bit. I'm happy when the people around me are enjoying things and having a laugh. But of myself, I see life as bleak.

  32. Thanks for this vid. My markers came up for Dysthymia after being diagnosed with major depressive disorder for years. I’ve had this since i was 10 and im 24 now. It is awful

  33. for me it's 6 years plus, and now I have to wait another 6 months for my first appointment with a psychiatrist.

  34. Is it possible that you to feel like you hate yourself, and everything you do is wrong, all ways looking down yourself if you were to have dysthymia?

  35. About five years ago, I began to fall into a really depressive episode. At first I believed it was just because I had a bad break from a relationship but the emotions would not go away even after I have a new girlfriend. Happy I never skipped on following the steps that this depression therapy “fetching kafon press” (Google it) is recommending. The results were basically amazing..

  36. When I was hospitalized, among my many diagnosis, I had Dysthymia and Major depression (I had major depression when I was hospitalized, but usually I'm more dysthymic)
    These two I had thought that I might have them, and would often come on this channel to try to learn more about it, but never I convinced myself that I had it bad enough for it to be these diagnosis.
    Well it seems I was wrong, because that's not what professionnals told me.

    So if anyone here is just THINKING, that maybe they are struggling with their mental health, it doesn't matter if you think you're not struggling enough or that you're exaggerating, just go ask for professionnal opinions.

  37. Hi Kati, thank you for this video. I was looking for this spificly. I have been struggling with this for many years. I need help. There are so many other things that are going on in my life. Im adopted and my family has left me.I have a cervical spinal cord injury, its really difficult to move, everything hurts. I'm tired I cant

  38. How much I can remember I started having signs of depression at 9or10(sorry I can't remember which is stated). Now I am 15. And going to be 16 on aprile. My family think I am lazy,care less and don't care about others and i am selfish to just Site in corner have my phone in my hand,earplugs on. But they don't know I am crying and screaming inside.

  39. It’s a relief to hear about this especially when she says how it is when your a teen. It makes sense because that’s how I feel exactly

  40. I've barely grown the courage to seek therapy. I tell people I feel depressed, and they say, "oh it's in your head, or you have no reason to be depressed or my fave your imagining it."

  41. I loved gaming… but its been 1 year i have sold my PS3 and havent palyed any game whatsoever.. (n m almost 30.. ). I just lost interest coz of something really shitty that i did. Also its been months i have left reading.

  42. I've been looking for my diagnosis for years now. Looking for a therapist now. This might be the closest I've gotten to a possible answer.

  43. I’ve had dysthymia for years.
    Later year I got diagnosed.
    I started therapy last year too.
    Six months ago I started medication. I was on 20mg Of Fluoxetine and now I’m on 40mg.
    I feel so tired from trying to get better and although I’ve had so much help(so much help, I’m very grateful), I’m not sure if I can get better

  44. unfortunately not all people can get the help they need , i've been (and am still) suffering from it for the last 15 years of my life (am 30 now) with some big spike at some periods of the year , i've dropped from my high school and am at a point where i can do nothing , no intelectuel effort no job no nothing just watching time passing by day after day with -99999 motivation and so on but living in morocco there just no apropriate help so yeah life sucks , wish u all a nice day and a better life 🙂

  45. my therapist told me i might have this, and told me to go to a psychiatrist but i’m really scared to go

  46. The thing I hate about questioning about depression is the comparison of my last 2 weeks or 6 months or whatever. I’ve always felt like crap. Sometimes better, sometimes worse but what should I compare to? I feel okay today, but another person might sit shaking and screaming in a corner feeling the things I feel.. I’m so used to it so I don’t know

  47. Thank you soo much! Kathy Morton. I have being taking medicine for over 30 years. And to the best doctor i went early days. I was not happy so last year I changed my doctor, and I am taking medicine for couple of months. Now I understand that i have Dysthymia. my former doctor given medicine for Psychomania . which is split character. which is wrong . Most of the symptoms I have are mentioned by you. former doctor push button by saying I may have to go in the streat like a beggar, if I don't take care of my financial matters. He got me in to his health clinic to work. and they did not even pay the salary doctor offered me. finally i felt i was being played out. so i stopped going for his health clinic which is called SAHANAYA. Now with the new doctor, my medicines are changed. Pls let me know if this can be curable, and any specialist doctor you know i can get medicine from. THank you soo much Kati

  48. I’ve been depressed pretty much my entire life. In and out of therapy my entire life, including CBT. I think it’s just who I am at this point.

  49. I think this is happen to my life since a year ago when I was 17 y.o. I tend to degrading myself so I can motivate to go up higher but it end my life not enjoying anything and everyday feels gloomy, sometimes just thinks about my life make my cry.
    I am afraid to tell someone about this, they might be just think that I overreacted

  50. This happened to me, because of poor lifestyle, appetite was completely lost, and sleepless nights and it really sucked, funny thing is it never occured to me that i'm experiencing stressful episodes. Luckily it got better once i started running 3-5 km in morning!

  51. It feels shit Friday night I just went to get some groceries I see people enjoying themselves out I don’t want to do anything instead

  52. You're videos r always informed and interesting. Being a babe doesn't hurt either! Lol. With all do respect. You're a lovely person. ✌️👍👍👍👍👍👍😇

  53. Im 12 years old and ive talked to my sister about my suicidal thoughts and how i thought i had depression. She told my that i diagnosed myself right and she has tried to get my parents to take me to a doctor but the thing is my parents dont believe me. I almost never see my dad and even though i live with my mom we almost never speak. No one asks if im okay, but when they do i lie and say im okay and that im just tired. Ive talked to my friends about it but the next day they literally confronted me and said that i was just looking for attention. I feel so alone and i barely eat of have energy to do anything anymore. I stay off of school alot because im exhausted and weak and i cant get out of bed. I also have insomnia and i barely ever sleep which makes everything 10x worse and i cant handle everything anymore. Everyone expects so much from me and im afraid of failure so i just give up on everything.
    Sorry about this long rant, just needed to get it off my chest

  54. I'm not diagnosed with Depression! If I'm not diagnosed with Depression and psychosis! Then what is my illness? What are the reasons why I have to continue consulting to psychiatry? I know I'm not a Doctor to make a solid conclusions and to diagnose my self but I'm not having any symptoms. The only problem is a psychological trauma I experienced due to media related issues and a real bad experience. I remember all I witnessed on Media. Maybe it would be best for me to avoid stress and pressure and not to work anymore. I hope my case is confidential! Selective viewing and avoid listening to music 🎶 all is well and I'm feeling just fine. There are no problems but financial matters. What would I do with my life? 🤔 Please anyone advice me on what action that I should take? Smart way to deal and decide with my problems in life? Please comment down below. Thank you! ❤️

  55. Thank God I'm not suffering from any form of mental illness. Thank you almighty God for blessing me with good health and well-being. I'm so grateful that the psy war is finally over. My prayers had been answered. I know I'm undeserving of your favor and blessings but you never let me suffer from any kind of mental illness for that I'm so thankful because it is also a blessing to be able to live life with peace. Thank you dear lord Jesus christ for healing me. 😇 💝 It is one of the best gifts you have given me a peaceful life and a healthy mind and body. Thank you ❤️

  56. i've had this, my mother said i had chronic low grade depression for years on end from when i was 12 years old. i broke it last year with LB21 probiotic yogurt and pomegranates. i had
    bad reactions to antidepressants because i have a mitochondrial disease.
    Frustration my old friend…
    never been misdiagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. i
    just have
    MELAS syndrome. Would you
    post a video on paranoia please? i may need to change my antiseizure medicine.

  57. I lost interest n everything in school a lot like I just stop trying because I don’t see what the point is anymore life is a joke tbh

  58. How can we distinguish between a post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar/dysthymia/cyclethymia??

  59. In my country, if you have or get a mental diagnosis or psychiatric diagnosis or what you call it, you may have your child taken away from you (if you have a child) or they might take it away as soon as the child is born, you won't ever be able to foster or adopt, there are even jobs you can't have or won't be allowed to keep. Educations you can't take. So seeking professional help is not something which many do, because they dont want that diagnosis, especially because in my country once you have it, they'll never remove it. It's like having a criminal record, except it never gets outdated no matter how many years has gone by, no matter how you feel or function now.
    So you just keep up your apperance and your happy face as long as you can.

  60. Thank you for this wonderful video, I suffer with depression every day it's a very hard thing to live with and every day is different but I try my best ,your fantastic and very beautiful too God bless you.

  61. I've been feeling kind of down for years. I know I should tell someone so I could get some help, maybe find something at work that will help pay for it, and find out what's actually going on. The fact that it could be misdiagnosed as ADHD really got my attention because I was diagnosed with ADHD in middle school. I just came here from your bipolar disorder video where you made that diagram, and it reminded that I was diagnosed as bipolar when I was a senior in high school. I never got treatment for it because we couldn't afford the psychiatrist, but years later with kinda figured it was for other reasons that I had similar symptoms. I'm just scared to tell somebody because I don't know how people would take it.

  62. I’ve felt overly depressed for about a year and a half. I feel worthless, I don’t do anything I used to like drawing. I always feel like I look horrible. I don’t even go out anymore, I don’t feel the need to. I messed up a-lot of my friendships because I was sad. And my mom always says I’m being dramatic and to just go do something.

  63. Please share more video about persistant depressive disorder . My son is dignosed with pdd and some autistic features he is 23 now but i don't know about his problem . How can i help him.

  64. I lost my great friend, and mentor, when I was 16. After mixing deeper with the "wrong crowd", I began to skip class for weed and alcohol. It was so bad that got blackout drunk a few times and OD'd on Xanax. I was found passed out in the bathroom and was put on syw's suicide watch soon after. The syw only advise was to get help somewhere else. I did, only to be mocked by the two therapists I got. Dysthymia completly describes what I feel… I'm pretty angry that I got more info off YouTube in 3minutes than what I did in 4years of therapy

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