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Academic Highlights: Ongoing Needs in Depression

J Clin Psychiatry 1996;57:600-610

In his opening presentation, Chairman A. John Rush, M.D., discussed the extent to which depression is a chronic disorder, the course of chronic depressions, and their diagnosis and treatment . “Historically, depressive disorders were viewed as featuring one or more time-limited symptomatic episodes lasting 6 to 8 months, with full interepisode recovery,” said Professor Rush, “but, in the past 20 years, the chronic nature of many of these conditions has been recognized more clearly.” He presented data showing that most patients who have one major depressive episode ultimately suffer a recurrence and that for a substantial minority of patients (5%–7%) each episode lasts more than 2 years.