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Re: Difference between dysthymia and depression

Posted by Sean on April 19, 1999, at 18:11:14

In reply to Re: Difference between dysthymia and depression, posted by Elizabeth on April 17, 1999, at 23:35:19

> Sean, that was very well put. I've been following Dr. Akiskal's work too and expect it to have a great deal of utility (though I remain unconvinced by the "bipolar connection").
> Dysthymia has been conceptualized as "depressive personality" (see appendix B of DSM-IV, for example). Given the often pejorative implication of a personality disorder label, I think this probably isn't useful. For now, at any rate, dysthymia is indeed considered a form of "clinical depression."
> But anyway, I have a question - how do you tell the difference between double depression (dysthymia with superimposed episodes of major depression) and major depression without full interepisode recovery?

Of all the diagnoses, "double depression" does
seem pretty tough to figure out, but I guess there
is enough clinical consistency among trained
observers to justify the category. My guess is
that there is a qualitative difference in how
dysthymics relate and experience their symptoms.
Maybe that is what Akiskal means by "trait" or
"temperment". He tends to think these are really
important qualities to look out for.

But hey, what do I know!?!





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