Frequency and differential diagnosis of depressive syndromes in schizophrenia

R. L. Martin, C. R. Cloninger, S. B. Guze, P. J. Clayton

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The frequency, differential diagnosis, and implications of depression occurring in the course of schizophrenia are considered in light of recently reported findings from a follow-up and family study of 500 psychiatric outpatients (the St. Louis 500 Study). Problems in diagnosis are illustrated in an interview of a schizophrenic patient with a history of depression. Nearly 60% of the schizophrenics studied had suffered a depressive syndrome during the course of their schizophrenic illness, supporting the observations of others. The majority of patients with a history of depression who were otherwise diagnosable as schizophrenic had a course of illness consistent with schizophrenia during follow-up. The pattern of illness among first-degree relatives suggested that intercurrent depression did not represent a biologic unity with primary affective disorder. Intercurrent depression should not be overinterpreted in excluding a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985


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