Dysthymia in Children and Adolescents

Dysthymia is similar to Major Depressive Disorder (Depression) but is less intense and longer-lasting.

Kids with Dysthymia experience chronically low mood or low-grade sadness OR Significant irritability most days. The symptoms of Dysthymia may last for several years, if untreated. To be diagnosed with Dysthymia, a child or teen must have these symptoms for at least 12 months


Similar to symptoms of Depression adolescents diagnosed with Dysthymia may experience:

  • Depressed mood or irritability most of the day
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate nearly every day
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Tiredness or loss of energy

However, if 5 or more of the above symptoms are present at a time, a diagnosis of Depression is likely.