Dysthymic disorder affects up to five percent of the general population, which is equal to about three million Americans. Women are three times more likely to be diagnosed than men, but men with dysthymia are at a higher risk of death. The average age of diagnosis is thirty-one years old. However, it is also common in teens and young adults, as well as older generations.
Early-onset is defined as occurring before twenty-one years old, and late-onset if diagnosed at or over twenty-one years old. Individuals in the mid-forty to mid-fifty age range are twice as likely to be diagnosed than those who are eighteen to twenty-nine years old, and nearly three times as likely as individuals sixty years old or older. Remember, however, it most often begins early in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood.