However, we believe our article is not merely a restatement of existing knowledge; several aspects are noteworthy. First, we reported on a large population of dysthymic patients, more than 400 individuals whose low-grade chronic depression had an average duration of over 30 years. The temperamental abnormalities noted in these subjects at baseline with Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (1) (including harm avoidance scores that were nearly two standard deviations above community norms) were comparable to those of more severely symptomatic individuals with disorders such as major depression. Second, our study demonstrated that for our dysthymic subjects, elevated levels of harm avoidance correlated with poor social functioning (as measured with the Social Adjustment Scale) at r=0.50 at both pre- and posttreatment, which implied that temperamental variables may be an important component of these patients’ social dysfunction. Third, to our knowledge, our report is the first large study of dysthymic patients to assess the impact of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on temperament and has the advantage of comparison groups receiving placebo or a tricyclic antidepressant.