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Mind & Mood

COVID pandemic got you down?

December 1, 2020

The pandemic has made it especially hard for people with persistent depressive disorder.

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Almost everyone goes through rough mental patches. You may feel down, sad, and lethargic. Most people bounce back with no problem, but if these feelings become more frequent and linger longer, you could have a mild, yet still serious form of depression called persistent depressive disorder (PDD), also known as dysthymia.

Older adults are especially vulnerable to PDD, and more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Dr. David Mischoulon, a psychiatrist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "While the COVID pandemic affects everyone, older adults have experienced increased stressors like economic issues, prolonged isolation, and the threat of getting sick, all of which can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression beyond the norm."

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