Diagnostic significance of vegetative symptoms in depression.
J Davidson, C D Turnbull


The diagnostic importance of vegetative symptoms for melancholia was examined through DSM-III, the Newcastle Scale, and Extracted Criteria for melancholia. Statistically significant differences were diagnostically unimpressive in the case of DSM-III and the Newcastle criteria. With the Extracted Criteria, initial insomnia, early waking, anorexia, weight loss, loss of libido, and worsened mood in the morning were all significantly more common in melancholia than in non-melancholic depression, while increased appetite was more common in non-melancholia. Only diurnal variation of mood (worse in the morning) showed predictive value for melancholia; whereas the other traditional vegetative symptoms (disturbed sleep, weight, and libido) did not. Increased appetite and diurnal variation of mood (worse in the evening) were predictive for non-melancholia.