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Phenomenology of major depression from childhood through adulthood: analysis of three studies
Am J Psychiatry 1988;145:1222-1225.
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Abstract

The frequency of depressive symptoms was compared in four psychiatrically referred populations: preschool (N = 9) and prepubertal (N = 95) children, adolescents (N = 92), and adults (N = 100). All had been systematically interviewed and diagnosed according to very similar criteria. Symptoms of depressed mood, diminished concentration, insomnia, and suicidal ideation occurred with similar frequencies across this developmental span. Anhedonia, diurnal variation, hopelessness, psychomotor retardation, and delusions increased with age; depressed appearance, low self-esteem, and somatic complaints decreased with age. The authors conclude that age modifies symptom frequency but does not alter basic phenomenology.

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