Depression Questions & Answers

Updated: May 21, 2018
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

Are there effective treatments for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the presentation of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which symptoms must be present to meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which screening instruments may be used in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are lab studies used in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What drugs are used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which medications are available for adults with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What medications are available for children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which psychosocial interventions for the treatment of mild depression are supported by APA guidelines?

When is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which stimulation techniques for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) have been approved by the FDA?

What are the barriers to diagnosis and treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the likely presentation of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in a primary care setting?

How does the DSM-5 classify depressive disorders?

Which disorders should be included in the differential diagnoses of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which tests are used for to screen for depression and bipolar disorder?

Which treatments are effective for the management of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How should medications be selected for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the underlying pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Does central nervous system serotonin (5-HT) activity have a role in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the pathogenesis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

What is the role of vascular lesions in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What do functional neuroimaging findings reveal about the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What changes in brain structures have been reported in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

In which areas of the brain is activity diminished in unipolar depression and bipolar depression?

Which abnormalities were found in brain regions during a major depressive episode?

What may lead to disruptions in the functional circuitry of emotion regulation in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which endocrine changes increase the risk for developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the causes of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of genetics in the development of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which susceptibility loci have been identified for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which genes are likely to influence the susceptibility to major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the genetic implications of serotonin utilization and production in the etiology of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of the gene FKBP5 in the etiology of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Does a family history of affective disorder, panic disorder, or alcohol dependence also predispose to depression?

What common genetic variants in children and adolescents have been found to influence their susceptibility for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression) etiologically different from early-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of genetics in the response to pharmacologic treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Why do patients treated with an SSRI for major depressive disorder (clinical depression) discontinue treatment or switch medications?

Which genetic marker reduces the risk of nonresponse to antidepressant therapy in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which factors increase the risk of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which psychosocial factors increase the risk for developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression) late in life?

What is the cognitive-behavioral model of depression?

Which drugs and substances of abuse increase the risk of developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, and brain structural abnormalities in the development of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of the neurotransmitter system in the development of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which neurodegenerative diseases increase the risk for major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in the elderly?

What is the parent-child relation model of depression?

How are children affected by a maternal diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the vascular depression hypothesis?

What is the prevalence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in the US?

What is the global prevalence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the global risk for affective disorders?

Are there gender and age differences in the global prevalence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the incidence of depression in children and adolescents?

What is the incidence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in adolescents in the US?

Is major depressive disorder (clinical depression) more common in boys or girls?

Which demographic groups are at higher risk for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are age differences in the incidence of clinically significant depressive symptoms?

What is the prognosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the risk factors for recurrent episodes and treatment resistance in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the prognosis after an initial episode of psychotic depression?

Which factors increase the risk for the recurrence of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the prognosis of late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the effect of comorbidities on the prognosis of older patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the "rule of thirds" concerning the prognosis of late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which medical conditions are risk factors for the development of late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the suicide rate among persons with depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the risk factors for suicide?

Does the use of antidepressants to treat major depressive disorder (clinical depression) increase the risk of suicide?

Which demographic groups are at increased risk for suicide attempts?

How does access to health care affect suicide rates?

What is the global suicide death rate?

What education should patients be given about major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What online resources are available for patient and family education for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What online resources are available for late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Presentation

How does the initial presentation of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) vary in adults, children, and elderly persons?

Why should family history be a focus in suspected major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are common expressions of dysphoric moods in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is psychosis evaluated in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which disorders should be included in the differential diagnoses of suspected major depressive disorder (clinical depression) and symptoms of psychosis?

What is the basis for diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How might appearance and affect change in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How might speech change among persons with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How are depressive disorders (clinical depression) rated in the DSM-5?

Does bereavement induce major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is depression with anxious distress defined in the DSM-5?

How is depression with melancholic features defined in the DSM-5?

According to the DSM-5, when is depression with melancholic features applicable?

What are the DSM-5 criteria for the diagnosis the depressive episodes with catatonia?

What are the DSM-5 criteria for the diagnosis of atypical depression?

How common is depression in the postpartum period?

Are postpartum psychiatric illnesses diagnostically distinct?

What are the risk factors for postpartum mood disorder with psychotic features?

What are the signs and symptoms of postpartum blues?

When should women with postpartum blues be screened for postpartum depression?

What are the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression?

How many infants are born to mothers who are depressed?

How does untreated maternal postpartum depression affect the child?

What are the DSM-5 criteria for the diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

How is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) diagnosed in children?

Which psychotic features may be present with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

According to the DSM-5, which disorders have features of depression but do not meet the criteria for a specific depressive disorder?

What is the role of metabolic syndrome in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of cultural influences in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is assessment for suicidal ideation indicated in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

DDX

Which disorders should be included in the differential diagnoses of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is major depressive disorder (clinical depression) differentiated from persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)?

How is major depressive disorder (clinical depression) differentiated from bipolar disorder (manic depression)?

Are anxiety disorders a risk factor for developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is major depressive disorder (clinical depression) differentiated from personality disorders?

Are eating disorders a risk factor for developing major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Does major depressive disorder (clinical depression) cause focal neurologic signs?

What is pseudodementia in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which endocrinologic disorders are likely to produce changes in mood?

Which medications produce changes in mood?

What is the role of antihypertensive agents in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Do calcium channel blockers (CCD) impair the effectiveness of antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of substance use in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which infectious processes can cause mood and behavior changes?

Which sleep disorder can cause psychiatric symptoms?

What are the differential diagnoses for Depression?

Workup

What is the role of depression screening in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the USPSTF recommendations for depression screening?

What are simple screening tests for depression and what are their efficacy?

Which depression self-report screening instruments are available for clinical use?

What is the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)?

What is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)?

How should rating scales for depression be interpreted in elderly persons?

What is a common complaint of patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which depression rating scale is used for older patients with dementia?

Which lab tests are useful to exclude medical illnesses that may present as major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of PET imaging in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What SPECT scanning findings might suggest major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Treatment

Are effective treatments available for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What factors should be considered in medication selection for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the ACP guidelines for use of second-generation anti-depressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the ACP guidelines for duration of pharmacotherapy in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the APA guidelines for treatment selection for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How often is psychotherapy conducted in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

According to the APA guidelines, when are psychological treatments considered efficacious?

What drugs are used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is St. John's wort effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which SSRIs are used in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the advantages of SSRIs for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the possible adverse effects of SSRIs in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are SSRIs contraindicated in patients with comorbid major depressive disorder (clinical depression) and cardiac disease?

When is citalopram contraindicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is vortioxetine (Brintellix) effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of SNRIs in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is concurrent use of SNRIs with other antidepressants safe and effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is levomilnacipran (Fetzima) effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which atypical antidepressants are effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of SDAMs in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are SDAMs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are MAOIs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is psilocybin effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What were the AHRQ findings regarding the effectiveness of second-generation antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the ACP guidelines for the selection of second-generation antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which treatments have been found effective in major depressive disorder (clinical depression) with suicidal ideation?

Does the effectiveness of antidepressant medications increase with depression severity?

Which treatments are effective for acute major depressive disorder and for the prevention of relapse and recurrence?

What is behavioral activation (BA) therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is behavioral activation (BA) an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

For which patient groups is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is interpersonal therapy (IPT) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

For which patient groups is interpersonal therapy (IPT) an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the basis of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) delivered in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the efficacy of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is problem solving therapy (PST) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How is problem-solving therapy (PST) delivered in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the efficacy of problem-solving therapy (PST) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the indications for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the possible adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of bright-light therapy (BLT) in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

What is the role of bright-light therapy (BLT) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of physical exercise in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How common is failure to remit with first-line therapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) and how is treatment resistance assessed?

How is treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD) treated?

Which second-generation antidepressants may be more effective therapy for treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD)?

Which augmentation combination therapies may be considered for treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD)?

Is vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) an effective treatment for treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD)?

Is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) an effective treatment for treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD)?

What are the treatment options for children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What do parents and patients need to know before pharmacologic treatment is initiated for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the guidelines for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in children and adolescents?

What are the treatment options for adolescents who do not respond to an initial SSRI for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are SSRIs effective as a first-line medication in adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the recommended treatment regimen of SSRIs in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which form of therapy is associated with increased suicidal events in adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is a maximal clinical response achieved for SSRIs in major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the adverse effects of SSRIs in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the efficacy of antidepressant treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression) in children and adolescents?

Do antidepressants increase the risk of suicide in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the 2004 FDA warnings and recommendations for children and adolescents taking SSRIs for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What were the effects of the FDA’s warnings regarding suicide in children taking antidepressants?

Do antidepressants increase or decrease suicidal behavior in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When are tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) indicated in the treatment of children with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which baseline and monitoring tests are required when tricyclic antidepressants are administered for treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is medical treatment for major depressive disorder (clinical depression) indicated during pregnancy?

What are the guidelines for therapy in pregnant women with mild or severe depression?

What are the possible adverse effects of SSRIs during pregnancy for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the symptoms of neonatal withdrawal from in utero exposure to SSRIs?

How is postpartum major depressive disorder treated?

Which symptoms should be assessed in patients with suspected postpartum depression?

What are the symptoms of postpartum blues and how are they treated?

Is it safe for women to breastfeed when taking antidepressants?

What are principles guiding geriatric psychopharmacology for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Do antidepressants increase the risk of falls in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the recommended administration of antidepressants in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which drug-drug interactions may be present with the use of antidepressants in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are possible adverse effects of SSRIs in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Are antidepressants effective in geriatric patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is psychiatric hospitalization indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which types of diets have been shown to improve mental health and possibly improve or prevent depression?

What foods should be avoided when prescribing MAOIs and how can patients recover from major depressive disorder?

What are the risk factors for hyponatremia in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression) taking SSRIs?

Do SSRIs increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmia in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Do SSRIs increase or decrease the risk of suicide in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)

Do antidepressants increase the risk of stroke in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the possible withdrawal symptoms associated with the abrupt discontinuation of SSRIs?

What possible interactions may occur when SSRIs are combined with other medications?

What are the possible adverse effects of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)?

At what dosage is bupropion associated with a risk of seizure?

What are the effects of mirtazapine and trazodone?

What is the role of atypical antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the role of the therapist in the medical treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

When is consultation with a psychiatrist indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is the benefit of collaboration of psychiatrists and family practitioners/internists in the management of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What is structured care for the management of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which factors could influence the follow-up schedule in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How often should medications be reevaluated for treatment efficacy in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

How should mood and treatment response be monitored in patients with major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Is psychotherapy beneficial in preventing relapse of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Medications

Which drugs are used for the treatment of depression?

When is a clinical response seen after initiation of antidepressant therapy for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the effects of antidepressants for major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

What are the neuromechanisms of antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, SSRIs are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, SNRIs are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, TCAs are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, MAO Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Augmenting Agents are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Serotonin-Dopamine Activity Modulators are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, Other are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Stimulants are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Thyroid Products are used in the treatment of Depression?

Which medications in the drug class Neurology & Psychiatry, Herbals are used in the treatment of Depression?