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December 1973

Depression and Marital Turmoil

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Dr. Smith is currently in private practice in St. Louis and Dr. Briscoe in Corbin, Ky.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(6):811-817. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200060083013

In this report (one in a series on divorce and psychiatric illness) we consider the 33 female and 12 male divorced probands with the diagnosis of definite unipolar affective disease. Of this group, 43 had an episode of depression of more than one month duration at the time of their marital separation or divorce and 20 of the 22 who had prior episodes of depression were again depressed at the time of marital disruption. The divorced depressives who had an episode of depression at the time of their separation or divorce were classified as "event associated" or "event nonassociated" on the basis of the temporal relationship of specific events to the onset of depression. There were 19 female and five male probands placed in the event-associated subgroup. The depressive symptoms, in the opinion of the interviewing psychiatrist, contributed to the marital disruption of six of the event-associated and 11 of the event-nonassociated divorced depressives.

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