Life events and the recurrence of depression

Mohammad Ghaziuddin, University of Michigan Hospitals
Neera Ghaziuddin, University of Michigan Hospitals
Gary S. Stein, University of Massachusetts Medical School


In a study of the prevalence of life events in recurrent depression, 40 patients with recurrent episodes were compared to 33 who were experiencing their first depressive illness. Thirty out of 33 (90.9%) first episode cases experienced life events prior to the onset of illness whereas only 20 out of 40 (50%) of the recurrent group gave such as history. Patients with a first episode had an average of 2.2 life events in the six months prior to onset, whereas recurrent patients experienced average of only 0.8 life events (p less than 0.05). Negative as well as exit events were also significantly more frequent among the first episode group. Although life events, age and sex all contributed to the recurrence of depression, most of the variance was not accounted for by any of these factors.