December 1977

Time Experience During Depression

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill (Dr R. Wyrick), and the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Dr L. Wyrick).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(12):1441-1443. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770240067005

• Before antidepressant medication was therapeutically effective, 30 severely depressed hospitalized patients (primarily unipolar) were compared with 30 controls on several aspects of time experience. In comparison to controls, depressed patients were most preoccupied with past events, focused less on present and future events, attended to more distant past events and memories, focused on more imminent future events, reported longer time spans for present story productions, and overestimated 160-second, 240-second, 15-minute, and 30minute time intervals. Confirming the objective time estimations, depressed patients indicated on a verbal report measure that they experienced time passing slowly during the experiment, that they generally overestimate time, and that previously time did not seem to pass so slowly.