PDD: What Is It?

Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia, is a form of chronic depression, with symptoms less severe but longer lasting than other forms of depression. It is a new diagnosis that combines two earlier diagnoses: dysthymia and chronic major depressive episode. If a child appears to be irritable or in a depressed mood most of the time for over one year, persistent depressive disorder is a possible diagnosis. Like other forms of depression, dysthymia afflicts young people with chronic feelings of sadness or worthlessness, and an inability to take pleasure and perform well in the activities of daily life. With dysthymia in particular, the symptoms of depression may go unnoticed for some time, as they are less acute but longer lasting than in other forms of depression.