Objectives. To discuss the definition of residual symptoms and their significance in the course and treatment of depression.
Review. Remission is a target state to be achieved and maintained as a result of therapeutic procedures provided to patients diagnosed with depression or other mental disorders. However, despite continuous advancements in diagnostics and therapeutics, this target is not always achieved and long-term treatment outcomes are still unsatisfactory. Residual symptoms accompanying complete or partial remission are important factors affecting the course of illness. The most common manifestations include typical depression symptoms of mild severity, such as depressed mood, sleep problems, tiredness, or somatic symptoms (pain mostly) that are often perceived as unrelated to depression. Many studies have shown earlier relapse of the disease in patients with residual symptoms.
Conclusion. Residual symptoms should be taken into account in the diagnosis, and properly implemented treatment should be aimed at their minimization. This should be a standard practice in the management of such a common and life-impairing condition as depressive disorder.