Kato, T. A（加藤隆弘）., Hashimoto, R., Hayakawa, K., Kubo, H., Shimokawa, N.,Watabe, M.（渡部 幹）, Teo, A, R.,Kanba, S. (2015). The multidimensional anatomy of “modern type depression” in Japan: A proposal for a different diagnostic approach to depression beyond the DSM-5. 日本の「新型うつ」の多次元的検討 Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12360
Japan’s prototype of depression had traditionally been a melancholic depression based on the premorbid personality “shūchaku-kishitsu” proposed by Mitsuzo Shimoda in the 1930s. However since around 2000, a novel form of depression has emerged among youth. Called ‘modern type depression (MTD)’ by mass media, the term has quickly gained popularity among the general public, though it has not been regarded as an official medical term. Likewise, lack of consensus guidelines for its diagnosis and treatment, and a dearth of scientific literature on MTD has led to confusion when dealing with it in clinical practice in Japan. In this review article, we summarize and discuss the present situation and issues regarding MTD by focusing on historical, diagnostic, psychosocial, and cultural perspectives. We also draw on international perspectives (Kato TA et al. J Affect Dis 2011) that begin to suggest that MTD is a phenomenon that MTD may exist not only in Japan but also in many other countries with different socio-cultural and historical backgrounds. It is therefore of interest to establish whether MTD is a culture-specific phenomenon in Japan or a syndrome that can be classified using international diagnostic criteria as contained in ICD or DSM. We propose a novel diagnostic approach for depression that addresses MTD in order to combat the current confusion about depression under the present diagnostic systems.