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November 2013

When Depression Doesn’t Lead With Depression

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(11):1131-1132. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.3493

A layperson looking for information about depression might turn to the excellent website provided by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health. He or she would read that depression is characterized by low mood (beyond sadness or the blues), combined with “symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.”1 This basic (and familiar) information is very useful, but 2 articles2,3 in this month’s issue remind us how limited this description of depression is.