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Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Jul;143(7):888-91.

Depressive relapses and incomplete recovery from index episode.


Of 101 patients suffering from primary unipolar depression who were followed up for at least 1 year after recovery from the index episode, 51 relapsed into a new depressive episode within the year of recovery. Only those variables related to the period immediately after discharge distinguished nonrelapsers from relapsers; relapsers showed higher levels of residual symptoms, inferior social adaptation, a more pathological mean personality profile, and lower tricyclic plasma levels, despite similar dosage. The data are consistent with the hypothesis of an incomplete recovery from the index episode as a risk factor for relapse within 1 year.

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