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June 1974

Variability of the Clinical Course of Primary Affective Disorder

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(6):757-761. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760120023004

In a five-year prospective follow-up study, 37 patients were concordant for the diagnosis of primary affective disorder at index and blind follow-up interview. This report describes their clinical course graphically.

Six patients (16%) were chronically ill during the entire follow-up period. Nine (24%) had no recurrence of depression. The remaining 22 patients had one to nine further depressive episodes with durations varying from two weeks to one year.

At follow-up, 13 patients were ill: six chronically plus seven others. Three fourths of the patients were well more than three fourths of the time during the follow-up interval, with few or no lingering symptoms.

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