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Pediatric Persistent Depressive Disorder

Key Points About Persistent Depressive Disorder in Children

  • Persistent depressive disorder is a type of depression. A child with this type of depression has a low, sad, or irritable mood for at least 1 year.
  • There is no single cause of this disorder. Many risk factors, such as the loss of a loved one, can raise a child’s risk for it.
  • Some common symptoms are lasting feelings of sadness and sleep problems.
  • A mental health expert such as a psychiatrist often diagnoses this disorder after a mental health evaluation.
  • Treatment includes therapy and medicine. Family therapy is also advised.
  • If depression greatly interferes with your child’s ability to succeed in school, they may be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the ADA or Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act. Talk with your child’s teacher or principal for more information.
  • Listen to your child and keep communication open. Let them know you want to talk to them about anything that concerns them, especially if they ever have thoughts of self-harm.
Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Children's National Hospital

Primary Care
Donna Marschall

Donna Marschall

Director, Whole Bear Care, Primary Care Behavioral Health Services
Psychologist
Adelaide Robb

Adelaide Robb

Division Chief, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Erin Sadler

Erin Sadler

Co-Director, Mood Disorders Program
Director, CPP Services
Psychologist
Departments

Departments

Mood Disorders Program

The Mood Disorders Program at Children’s National Hospital provides effective, personalized treatment for children and teens with depression and other mood disorders.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s National offers assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders.