The nosology of chronic depression has become increasingly complex since the publication of the revised third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987), but there are few data available to evaluate the validity of the distinctions between the subtypes of chronic depression. The validity of the distinction between DSM-III-R chronic major depression (CMD) and major depression superimposed on dysthymia (double depression, DD) was examined. Participants were 635 patients with chronic depression in a 12-week trial of antidepressant medications. Patients with CMD, DD, and a 3rd group with a chronic major depressive episode superimposed on dysthymia (DD/CMD) were compared on demographic and clinical characteristics, family history, and response to treatment. Few differences were evident, although the depression of patients with DD/CMD tended to be more severe.
Comparison of DSM-III-R chronic major depression and major depression superimposed on dysthymia (double depression)
Validity of the distinction
McCullough, J. P., Klein, D. N., Keller, M. B., Holzer, C. E., Davis, S. M., Kornstein, S. G., ... Harrison, W. M. (2000). Comparison of DSM-III-R chronic major depression and major depression superimposed on dysthymia (double depression): Validity of the distinction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109(3), 419-427.