Dysthymic Disorder Among Children

Dysthymic disorder is characterized by chronic low-level depression. While the depression is not as severe as that characterizing major depressive disorder, a diagnosis of dysthymia requires having experienced a combination of depressive symptoms for two years or more.

The National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A) examines both dysthymic disorder and major depressive disorder together. These depressive disorders have affected approximately 11.2 percent of 13 to 18 year olds in the United States at some point during their lives. Girls are more likely than boys to experience depressive disorders. Additionally, 3.3 percent of 13 to 18 year olds have experienced a seriously debilitating depressive disorder.

Additional information about depressive disorders can be found on NIMH’s depression page.