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September 1984

Subtypes of DepressionFamily Study Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Depression Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center (Drs Leckman, Weissman, Prusoff, Merikangas, and Pauls), and the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Leckman, Weissman, Prusoff and Merikangas), Epidemiology (Dr Weissman), and Human Genetics (Drs Pauls and Kidd) and the Child Study Center (Dr Leckman and Mr Caruso), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(9):833-838. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790200015002

• To address the validity of subtype distinctions within a large family study of major depression, probands (N=133) were classified into several non-mutually exclusive subcategories, including endogenous (n = 89), melancholic (n=61), autonomous (n = 50), and delusional (n=21). Agecorrected lifetime rates of depression and subtypes among first-degree relatives were then compared by the proband's depression subtype. Rates of major depression were highest for the relatives of probands with the autonomous and delusional subtypes, and while lower for the relatives of endogenous and melancholic probands, these rates were still higher than for the relatives of the remaining depressed probands or the relatives of normal controls. The depressed relatives of depressed probands with the endogenous, melancholic, autonomous, or delusional subtypes were more likely to have one of these subtypes than the depressed relatives of either the remaining depressed probands or the normal controls.