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November 1985

The Validity of Neurotic-Reactive Depression: New Data and Reappraisal

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(11):1116-1122. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790340100014

• A family history of alcoholism can be used as a validating factor in the diagnosis of reactive-neurotic depression. Not only is this true but there are clear data that indicate the presence of positive symptoms that can be used to make the diagnosis. A set of criteria based on previous research is presented for the diagnosis of neurotic-reactive depression. These criteria are based on a clustering of certain symptoms, events, and traits in patients with neurotic-reactive depression. The patients showed stormy life-styles, some specific symptoms, personality abnormalities, presence of life events before the onset of depression, and a family history of alcoholism. They had relatively few hospitalizations for depression and responded poorly to specific antidepressant treatment.

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