Double depression is a term used to describe the superimposition of major depressive episodes on dysthymia, a chronic condition characterized by depressed mood and the presence of at least two depressive symptoms for 2 years or more (1 year in children and adolescents). Dysthymia is a diagnostic term from previous editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) used to describe persistent mild depression; although the term has been replaced by persistent depressive disorder in the fifth edition of the DSM, the syndrome itself still exists and has relevance here.

Double depression is qualitatively distinct from dysthymia or major depressive disorder (MDD) alone. In comparison with MDD, dysthymia is less severe (in terms of intensity of symptoms) but has a more chronic course. ...

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