Neurotic depression, the most commonly used psychiatric diagnosis, has
multiple meanings that are often used interchangeably in clinical practice.
The authors identify six different meanings of neurotic depression and
present data from a study of 90 depressed inpatients to determine how many
patients met several different criteria; 16 patients met four sets of
criteria. The overlap that exists between the different meanings is higher
than chance alone but not sufficiently high to allow complete
interchangeability. Until new diagnostic classes are developed, the authors
recommend that the term "neurotic depression" no longer be used clinically
because of its vagueness.