Depression in remission, doing great on the 40 mg of citalopram,

Can a patient be in full remission (of a behavioral health diagnosis) when they continue on the therapy/medication used to treat it?

The assessment documentation states, " Major Depression, Recurrent, in Full Remission. Her depression is in remission, she is doing great on the 40 mg of citalopram, denies any medication side effects and would like to continue with this, requesting a 60 day supply. She also uses trazodone to eat in sleeping and feels this to be effective.”

ICD-10 guidelines for behavioral health indicate remission is "provider's clinical judgement".

Thank you



  • According to Sidney Kennedy in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience " Although definitions of full remission vary, from a patient perspective, remission is the elimination of depressive symptoms and a return to premorbid levels of functioning (S. Kennedy 2002)."

    Kennedy later states "...the continuation and maintenance phases of treatment should be collapsed into maintenance therapy. Thus, acute therapy is that required to achieve full remission, and maintenance therapy is that needed to sustain the fully remitted state (S. Kennedy 2002)."

    This state can be achieved through therapy, including drug therapy. In your example the condition is still being treated through maintenance drug therapy and routine checkups.

    A great opportunity to capture the code F33.42 and HCC 59!


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