How prevalent are major depressive episodes in patients with dysthymia?

Updated: Oct 01, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Of note, an estimated 75% of people with dysthymia meet criteria for at least 1 major depressive episode, referred to as double depression. [3] Those with dysthymia who have depressive episodes tend to have longer periods of depression and spend less time fully recovered. [4] In a 10-year follow-up study of people with dysthymia, 75% experienced some (at least 2 mo) period of recovery from major depression; the mean time to recovery was 52 months from study entry. In this study, most (70%) of those who recovered experienced a relapse into another episode of depression, most commonly in the 3 years following recovery. [5]

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