Persistent Depressive Disorder, also called dysthymia, is a form of chronic depression. It includes symptoms similar to major depression, but they are more severe and longer lasting. Persistent depressive disorder represents a new diagnosis, combining both dysthymia and chronic major depressive disorder. If a child presents with depressed or irritable mood on most days for more than a year, he or she may have persistent depressive disorder.

The condition:

  • is less severe than major depression, but lasts for longer periods of time
  • is marked by persistent feeling of mild depression or irritability but may cause more extreme feelings from time to time 
  • is often undiagnosed, and if left untreated can lead to more serious mental health and behavioral problems
  • can be treated using psychotherapy and medication