Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is a long-term or chronic form of depression that involves losing interest in daily activities, hopelessness, loss in productivity, and sadness or irritability on most days. Symptoms of PDD vary in severity and are milder than major depression. However, symptoms of this disorder can last for months or years, negatively impacting everything from personal relationships to work and daily life.

Researchers do not know the exact cause of PDD, but it generally is associated with a series of factors like biological differences, brain chemistry, genetics, and life events. Women are more likely to experience PDD and it is believed to run in families. In some people, PDD can develop into major depression.

Symptoms of PDD can be inconsistent, coming and going over a period of time. The intensity of symptoms may also change over time. In most people with PDD, symptoms last for at least two months and can cause significant disruption in daily life. Common signs of PDD include loss of interest in everyday activities, persistent sadness or hopelessness, fatigue, low self-esteem, irritability, loss of appetite or overeating, and overwhelming feelings of guilt.

Persistent depressive disorder is usually treated with a combination of medications and talk therapy to manage thoughts and feelings. Lifestyle changes, including a better diet, daily exercise, consistent sleep, and prioritizing nurturing healthy relationships are also beneficial to managing symptoms of PDD.