depression
DEPRESSION
Treatment Guideline Chart

Depression is a mood disorder wherein the patient has a pervasive sad mood or loss of interest in most activities for at least 2 weeks.

It can cause significant distress and impairment. It is also a chronic, episodic and relapsing syndrome.

Treatment can be by psychotherapy alone, pharmacotherapy alone or psychotherapy combined with pharmacological therapy.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

Introduction

  • Patients may not present with depressive mood; somatic complaints may predominate
  • Depression should be suspected in patients who present with physical symptoms (eg fatigue, gastrointestinal distress or back pain) which cannot be explained or in those who present with pain, anxiety or substance abuse
  • Presence of depressed mood or diminished interest or pleasure in activities (anhedonia), feeling of fatigue or lack of energy (anergia), significant loss of motivation (avolition) are essential in diagnosing depression
  • Diagnosis may be easier in patients who are more aware of their moods or functioning
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