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August 21, 1996

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Depression

Author Affiliations

Dean Foundation for Health, Research and Education University of Wisconsin Medical School Madison

JAMA. 1996;276(7):576. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540070072038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This compact (178 pages and loaded with references), readable book is devoted to a condition much in need of higher profile: chronic depression. Only in the minds of insufferable optimists do all depressions follow a clean, crisp course of limited duration and full resolution. More often than not, major depressive disorder is a recurrent condition. In addition, a substantial minority of episodes fail to resolve fully. Dysthymic disorder is, by definition, a chronic low-grade depression of at least two years' duration in adults (one year in children and adolescents). Since each of these disorders has a point prevalence of several percent, it should be apparent that chronic depression is a major health problem.

Under the keen editorial supervision of Kocsis and Klein, an impressive cast of contributors has been assembled to address virtually every aspect of chronic depression. Several chapters were adapted from a 1993 issue of Psychiatric Annals on