Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Three Depression Subtypes Respond Selectively. (Psychotic, Atypical, Winter)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Three Depression Subtypes Respond Selectively. (Psychotic, Atypical, Winter)

Article excerpt

ALBUQUERQUE -- Only three subtypes of depression respond preferentially to specific types of therapy, Dr. Michael J. Gitlin said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico.

Depression in all its other forms can be treated equally well by all antidepressants--provided that the patient stays on the drug, added Dr. Gitlin, professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the mood disorders clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

The three depressive subtypes for which physicians ought to be prepared to. pursue a specific therapeutic strategy are psychotic depression, depression with atypical features, and winter depression.

* Psychotic depression. This subtype doesn't respond well to antidepressants alone. In general, the antidepressant needs to be helped along by an adjunctive antipsychotic agent or by ECT, an unpopular therapy that nonetheless is "fabulously effective," the psychiatrist said.

"That constellation of symptoms known as atypical depression seems to preferentially respond to our old friends--the MAO inhibitors," Dr. …

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