Dysthymia and chronic depression: introduction, classification, risk factors, and course

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Aug;59(8):807-16. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10174.


Chronic forms of depression are more common and impairing than is generally recognized. This article introduces an In Session issue devoted to dysthymic disorder and chronic depression, and it reviews current knowledge about these disorders. First, we discuss nosological issues, followed by a summary of potential risk factors. Finally, the naturalistic course of chronic depression is described and implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Depressive Disorder* / classification
  • Depressive Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder* / physiopathology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Dysthymic Disorder* / classification
  • Dysthymic Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Dysthymic Disorder* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • United States