In a five-year prospective follow-up study, 37 patients were concordant for the diagnosis of primary affective disorder at index and blind follow-up interview. This report describes their clinical course graphically.
Six patients (16%) were chronically ill during the entire follow-up period. Nine (24%) had no recurrence of depression. The remaining 22 patients had one to nine further depressive episodes with durations varying from two weeks to one year.
At follow-up, 13 patients were ill: six chronically plus seven others. Three fourths of the patients were well more than three fourths of the time during the follow-up interval, with few or no lingering symptoms.