From dysthymia to treatment-resistant depression: evolution of a psychopathological construct

Antonio Ventriglio*, Dinesh Bhugra, Gaia Sampogna, Mario Luciano, Domenico De Berardis, Gabriele Sani, Andrea Fiorillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Dysthymia is a psychopathological construct historically described and often reconsidered through the centuries. Its first description is dated back to 400 b.C., when Hippocrates proposed his theory about the ‘black bile’ and the melancholic temperament. The concept of dysthymia (dys-, ‘ill’, thymia-, ‘emotions’) has been largely elaborated in the XIX and XX centuries by Burton, Cullen, Schneider, Kretschmer, Akiskal and other authors, and recently re-formulated in the various editions of the modern Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders under different diagnostic labels: neurotic depression, dysthymic disorder, persistent depressive disorder. Beyond the nosology, dysthymia issues some other challenges, including the need for further research to characterise the peculiar pathophysiological framework of this syndrome (compared with major depressive disorder) and to better define evidences about tailored-treatment options and their effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020


  • Dysthymia
  • dysthymic disorder
  • persistent depressive disorder
  • treatment- resistant depression


Dive into the research topics of 'From dysthymia to treatment-resistant depression: evolution of a psychopathological construct'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this