Author(s): Kessler RC, Zhao S, Blazer DG, Swartz M
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Abstract Data from the National Comorbidity Survey are used to study the lifetime prevalences, correlates, course and impairments associated with minor depression (mD), major depression 5-6 symptoms (MD 5-6), and major depression with seven or more symptoms (MD 7-9) in an effort to determine whether mD is on a continuum with MD. There is a monotonic increase in average number of episodes, average length of longest episode, impairment, comorbidity, and parental history of psychiatric disorders as we go from mD to Md 5-6 to MD 7-9. In most of these cases, though, the differences between mD and MD 5-6 are no longer than the differences between MD 5-6 and MD 7-9, arguing for continuity between mD and MD. Coupled with the finding from earlier studies that subclinical depression is a significant risk factor for major depression, these results argue that minor depression is a variant of depressive disorder that should be considered seriously both as a target for preventive intervention and for treatment. The paper closes with suggestions regarding the analysis of mD subtypes in future longitudinal studies.
This article was published in J Affect Disord
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety