Depression in Childhood: Epidemiology

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes two main depressive disorders: (1) major depressive disorder (MDD) and (2) persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). Both refer to a syndrome of negative mood accompanied by associated biological or physical symptoms and psychosocial impairment. There are minimal differences in the diagnostic criteria between the fourth edition of the DSM (DSM-IV) and the fifth edition (DSM-5). MDD is characterized by at least five out of a list of nine symptoms, at least one of which must be a “core” symptom of depressed mood/irritability or anhedonia (reduced interest/pleasure). Symptoms must be associated with reduced function and last at least 2 weeks. MDD is further characterized as mild, moderate, or severe. Persistent depressive disorder is a pattern of milder, ...

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