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May 21, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(3):151-153. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960030001001

There is no personality disorder that the general physician is called on to treat more often than depression. A downward swing of the mood can become serious in so many ways. It may follow any sort of illness; it may exist as an underlying cause of headache, of other pains or aches, and of definite dysfunctions of different organ systems. It is usually recognized by the sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and loss of general interest that accompanies it, but undoubtedly many people are given needless operations and many patients refuse to get well because the symptoms rather than the underlying depression are treated. The depression is a reaction of the total being and as such has its physiological and psychological aspects. In this paper, the disorder will be approached as a personality problem and from the psychiatrist's point of view with the idea of making it possible for the general