2012 issue 3


Volume 21, issue 3

Review article

The significance of residual symptoms in the course of treatment for depression

Marcin Bugaj1, Andrzej Jakubczyk1, Marcin Wojnar1,2
1. Katedra i Klinika Psychiatryczna, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Warszawa
2. University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2012; 21(3): 199–206
Keywords: depression, residual symptoms, remission


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.

Address for correspondence:
lek. Marcin Bugaj
Katedra i Klinika Psychiatryczna Warszawskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego
ul. Nowowiejska 27, 00-665 Warszawa
e-mail: mbugaj@wum.edu.pl