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Comment & Response
March 2014

Is It All Depression?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany
JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(3):337. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4334

To the Editor In their report, Martin et al1 investigated a high-risk sample of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Study (all fulfilling lifetime criteria for any mental disorder) and categorized items from 2 scales to their belongingness to either “male depression” or “gender inclusion,” the latter including “male symptoms” and traditional items. They found that when items such as substance abuse or anger attacks were included, men endorsed more of these symptoms, and the gender difference in the frequency of depressive symptoms diminished. They concluded that when alternative and traditional symptoms are combined, the sex difference in the prevalence of depression would be eliminated. To my opinion, this report has some limitations that prevent a clear and straightforward interpretation of these data.

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