1. 1. Both major depression and dysthymia (chronic, low grade depression) were associated with increased reports of minor stressors (daily hassles), and feelings of loneliness, reduced uplifts, as well as the use of inappropriate coping strategies (i.e., emotion-focussed rather than problem-oriented coping). 2. 2. Although major depressive and dysthymic patients shared several features with respect to symptomatology, dysthymics tended to report a greater number of hassles than major depressives. 3. 3. Treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors over an 8-week period resulted in a marked alleviation of the depressive symptoms in both patient groups, although the clinical effectiveness of the drugs appeared somewhat later in dysthymics. 4. 4. The attenuation of the depressive symptoms was accompanied by a modest, but significant diminution in reports of minor stressors, while the perception of uplifts remained unchanged. Moreover, recovery from depression was associated with changes in coping style, such that patients relied less on inappropriate emotion-focussed coping strategies.

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Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Department of Psychology

Ravindran, A.V. (Arun V.), Griffiths, J. (Jenna), Waddell, C. (Connie), & Anisman, H. (1995). Stressful life events and coping styles in relation to dysthymia and major depressive disorder: Variations associated with alleviation of symptoms following pharmacotherapy. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 19(4), 637–653. doi:10.1016/0278-5846(95)00108-8