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(p. 160) Persistent Depressive Disorder/Dysthymia 

(p. 160) Persistent Depressive Disorder/Dysthymia
(p. 160) Persistent Depressive Disorder/Dysthymia

Myrna M. Weissman

, John C. Markowitz

, and Gerald L. Klerman

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date: 18 January 2021

This chapter describes the adaptation of IPT for the treatment of patients with persistent depressive disorder/dysthymia. The usual IPT model connects a recent event in the patient’s life with current mood and symptoms, but for patients who have been depressed for years, this model makes less sense. Instead, the IPT therapist makes the treatment itself a role transition from longstanding depression to euthymia in which patients learn to recognize depressive symptoms of long duration and how they have affected their social functioning. The therapist offers a formulation that shifts the blame for the patient’s situation from the patient to the illness. Treatment includes sixteen weekly sessions to drive these points home, although monthly continuation sessions and maintenance therapy are frequently offered so that patients’ new self-image and track record of healthy interpersonal functioning can sink in. A case example is given of a chronically depressed woman who improves with IPT.

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