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J Affect Disord. 1992 Jun;25(2):147-60.

The impact of an uncaring partner on improvement in non-melancholic depression.

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  • 1Mood Disorders Unit, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Interpersonal characteristics of the intimate partners of patients with non-melancholic depressive disorders were evaluated as potential predictors of outcome in an eighteen-month, longitudinal study. The short-term reduction in depressive symptoms was predicted most significantly by the patient's perception of the partner's care (as measured by the Intimate Bond Measure). The longer-term reduction in depressive symptoms was predicted by two components of the intimate relationship (the perceived care of the intimate and a briefer relationship) and was more likely in younger patients. Those who separated from an uncaring partner reported a distinct improvement in depressive symptoms. The patterns of improvement for patients who separated from uncaring partners and for patients who remained in caring relationships were similar, and distinctly superior to the pattern for those who remained with a partner who was perceived as uncaring.

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