recurrent depressive disorder

Last reviewed 07/2021

Recurrent depressive disorder describes the tendency of an individual to suffer recurrent episodes of depressed mood.

Recurrent depressive disorder has a spectrum of severity.

The characteristic features of a depressed patient are:

  • in a mild to moderate case:
    • a sad appearance
    • sad feelings
    • sad thought processes
    • biological symptoms and sign of depression
  • in a severe case:
    • delusions of worthlessness, guilt, nihilism etc
    • hallucinations, usually auditory
    • suicidal ideation

The diagnostic criteria for major depression, mild depression and dysthymia are available in the linked item.