Implications of the DSM's emphasis on sadness and anhedonia in major depressive disorder

Psychiatry Res. 2008 May 30;159(1-2):25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.05.010. Epub 2008 Mar 11.


At least five symptoms must occur for a DSM diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), one of which must be sadness or anhedonia. The present study is the first known investigation of the implications of the presence or absence of these prioritized symptoms on symptom expression and clinical characteristics among 564 young adults with MDD. Differences in symptom expression and clinical characteristics occurred among MDD participants with sadness relative to those without sadness as well as among MDD participants with anhedonia relative to those without anhedonia. Differential symptom expression could have important implications for the etiology, prevention, and treatment of MDD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis*
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Age of Onset
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors