How is major depressive disorder (clinical depression) differentiated from persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Major depressive disorder must be differentiated from dysthymia. Patients with dysthymia present with low mood for at least 2 years as a primary symptom; they have insufficient symptoms to meet criteria for major depressive disorder. However, dysthymia may predate a depressive episode.

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