Are depression and schizophrenia comorbid?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Many patients with schizophrenia report symptoms of depression. It is unclear whether such depression is an independent problem, part of the schizophrenia, a reaction to the schizophrenia, or a complication of treatment. Addressing this issue is important because of the high rate of suicide in patients with schizophrenia.

The research evidence for the use of antidepressant agents in schizophrenic patients is mixed. Further complicating the situation are the findings that antipsychotic agents may have antidepressant properties. [65] One meta-analysis suggested that the addition of antidepressants to antipsychotics might help treat the negative symptoms of chronic schizophrenia, which can be difficult to distinguish from depression. [66]

Suicide attempts are lower in people treated with clozapine than with other antipsychotic agents. [67]

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