Stimulant-dependent subjects have been reported to have higher rates of comorbid major depression and higher mood ratings of depression than the normal population, while patients with depression have been found to have an increased lifetime prevalence of stimulant abuse. These reports have led some investigators to postulate that there is an interaction between affective disorders and stimulant dependence. We evaluated two independent cohorts of patients hospitalized with major depression or stimulant dependence. Both groups underwent identical psychiatric evaluations of their mood and comorbid lifetime psychiatric diagnoses. These two groups differed significantly in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and Profile of Mood State scores and types of comorbid diagnoses. They had similar demographic measures and similar, relatively low, frequencies of lifetime comorbid stimulant dependence and depression. Thus, patients with major depression and stimulant dependence differed markedly with respect to their current clinical characteristics and lifetime comorbid diagnoses.

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