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August 1972

Epidemiological Considerations of Psychotic Depression

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(2):193-197. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750260043006

This study describes 568 individuals who had received a diagnosis of psychotic depression during 1961-1962 and examines their psychiatric experiences through 1966. The diagnosis of psychotic depression was given most frequently to an older, married, white female group, social class seemed unrelated to the diagnosis. Of these individuals, 54% had received psychiatric care prior to the psychotic depressive episode, and the majority had been hospitalized during the follow-up period.

Psychiatric experiences after the initial psychotic depressive episode distinguishes four distinct groups: (1) a single isolated psychiatric contact; (2) a single psychotic depressive episode; (3) multiple psychotic depressive episodes; and (4) a single psychotic depressive episode with different diagnosed episodes. Of the sample, 16% died during the follow-up period with 14% of the deaths due to suicide.