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World Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;4(2):96-105.

Demoralization, anhedonia and grief in patients with severe physical illness.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Australia.


Within the physically ill population, demoralization has been a valuable concept with which to consider dysphoric states. Moreover, it can be distinguished from other mood states. In this study we replicate previous research and show that demoralization can be distinguished from anhedonic depression and grief. All three correlate more or less equally with measures of depression (e.g., the Beck Depression Inventory), although they are differentiated on styles of coping, and social, family and physical functioning. These results confirm that distinguishing depression with demoralization from depression with anhedonia is both useful and scientifically valid. It sharpens the characterisation of dysphoric states and provides an empirical framework to enhance research into the aetiology and treatment of depression.

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