There has been some controversy concerning which symptoms best define Dysthymic Disorder. The results of the DSM-IV Mood Disorders field trial suggest that the following alternative version of Criterion B may be more characteristic of Dysthymic Disorder than the version of Criterion B that was in DSM-III-R and is in DSM-IV. However, it was decided that additional confirmatory evidence needs to be collected before these items are incorporated in the official definition of Dysthymic Disorder.

Research Criteria

B. Presence, while depressed, of three (or more) of the following:

  1. low self-esteem or self-confidence, or feelings of inadequacy
  2. feelings of pessimism, despair, or hopelessness
  3. generalized loss of interest or pleasure
  4. social withdrawal
  5. chronic fatigue or tiredness
  6. feelings of guilt, brooding about the past
  7. subjective feelings or irritability or excessive anger
  8. decreased activity, effectiveness, or productivity
  9. difficulty in thinking, reflected by poor concentration, poor memory, or indecisiveness


See Persistent Depressive Disorder

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