Implications of recent research on dysthymic disorders diagnostic criteria for dysthymic disorder

A. Frances, J. Kocsis, D. Marin, D. Manning, J. Markowitz, B. Mason, T. Widger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association 1980) criteria for dysthymic disorder selected a heterogeneous group of patients who overlapped with major depression and personality disorders in ways that were difficult to interpret. DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association 1987) revised the dysthymia criteria by (1) distinguishing early from late age of onset; (2) providing separate designations for primary and secondary states of dysthymia; (3) including a category of chronic major depression; and (4) revising the specific content of criteria. The performance characteristics of the new criteria set are yet to be tested-a necessary next step to inform the discussions that will culminate in DSM-IV. The remaining areas of greatest controversy are whether (1) early onset, primary dysthymic disorder should be redefined as depressive personality and placed on Axis II; (2) ''double-depression'' represents a real clinical phenomenon or a definitional artifact; and (3) the content of the diagnostic criteria can be made more specific for chronic depressions. The implications of possible changes and the workings of the DSM-IV Affective Disorders Work Group are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalPsychopharmacology Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Implications of recent research on dysthymic disorders diagnostic criteria for dysthymic disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this