Antidepressants in “Depressed” Schizophrenics

  • Samuel G. Siris
Conference paper


Schizophrenia is a disorder with many associated morbidities. Objective manifestations of psychopathology, subjective suffering, social and vocational dysfunction, and family burden are all well known and have been well described. Among the heterogeneous patternings of symptoms which may occur in conjunction with schizophrenia are those that have been labeled as “depression” because of their phenotypic resemblance to states of depression occurring in non-schizophrenic populations (1–8). Many schizophrenic patients are found to present with such a condition, involving a pessimistic, underenergized, gloomy, pleasureless, and bedraggled state. In it, their ability to concentrate may be low, their appetitive drives for food and sex may be reduced, their sleep patterns may be altered, and some may even seem to lose their will to live. Although the etiology of this sort of “depression” is not necessarily clear and may well be varied, the fact that these states are in so many ways phenocopies of cases of primary depression raises the logical question as to whether they might be responsive to treatment with antidepressant medications. This is, indeed, a very logical question because “depression” itself is a syndrome which is really a final common clinical path. Thus, even if the initiating etiology is not the same, a treatment useful for one form of depression (such as primary depression) might also benefit patients with another form of depression (such as secondary depression in schizophrenia) by interacting with points on the causal pathway distal to the primary diathesis but still proximal to the clinical expression of the “depression.”


Schizophrenic Patient Antidepressant Medication Clinical Global Impression Brief Psychiatric Rate Scale Antiparkinsonian Medication 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel G. Siris
    • 1
  1. 1.Hillside HospitalGlen OaksUSA

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