SEVERAL RECENT papers have suggested that the presenting symptomatology in some of the neuroses and functional psychoses has changed, when compared to the earlier classical descriptions.2,15,19 If these observations are accurate, the changes may be accounted for by such factors as: the earlier recognition and treatment of many psychiatric disorders; the vast cultural and social transformations; modifications and advances in management and treatment techniques applied to psychiatric patients; and changes in diagnostic criteria which have occurred since the early 1900's. In the event that such changes in observable symptomatology have taken place, a time lag would be expected between the manifest alteration in symptomatology and explicit recognition and acknowledgement of it within the mental health profession.
The depressive states, in particular, have been reported as showing considerable change in the presenting clinical picture, as compared to older descriptions.13,26 Some observers have described
HARROW M, COLBERT J, DETRE T, BAKEMAN R. Symptomatology and Subjective Experiences in Current Depressive States. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(2):203-212. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730080091013