Introduction

Dysthymia is a disorder similar to clinical depression, Although it is less severe, dysthymia tends to be chronic and longer lasting. Major depression lasts at least two weeks, but chronic dysthymic disorder lasts for a year or longer and seems to characterize the child's temperament or personality. Children with dysthymia can have low self-esteem, feel hopeless, and have problems sleeping and eating. A "down mood" is a pervasive part of the child’s life. Dysthymia involves long-term, chronic symptoms that are not disabling, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good.