Medicine & Health

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  • (2005) Brodaty, Henry; Cullen, Breda; Thompson, Claire; Mitchell, Philip; Parker, Gordon; Wilhelm, Kay; Austin, Marie-Paul; Mahli, Gin
    Journal Article
    Objective: Authors investigated the effects of current age, age at onset, and gender on the phenomenology of depression. Methods: A mixed-age sample of 810 Mood Disorders Unit attendees with a diagnosis of unipolar major depressive episode at or near its nadir were interviewed by clinician-rated and self-report instruments assessing symptoms and severity of depression. Results: Differences were found in depressive phenomenology according to current age but not age at onset, confirming previous findings. Age differences on several variables were found in women only. Subjective ratings of depression severity decreased with age, whereas objective, clinician-rated severity increased. Conclusions: The pattern and severity of depression change with increasing age. Longitudinal prospective studies would further elucidate this age-gender relationship. Clinicians should be aware of the decreased likelihood of older patients' reporting of depressive symptoms themselves.