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Depressive symptoms

Depressive symptoms: Introduction

Depression, also known as clinical depression, is a serious medical and mental health disorder that is associated with many factors, including the balance of chemicals in the brain. Depression can manifest as a large variety of symptoms, most often feelings of sadness or despair that do not go away. Depression can negatively affect a person's ability to function effectively in the activities of daily living, such as going to work and school, caring for family, and taking care of basic needs. More than 20 million people in the United States have depression, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Depression is often thought of as experiencing feelings of sadness, "having the blues", or being disheartened. However, there is a major difference between having normal feelings of sadness in reaction to a situation, such as a death in the family, and having depression. Normal feelings of sadness, although painful, generally resolve after a short time. For people with depression, feelings of sadness linger beyond a short time and intensify to the point that they interfere with the ability to function normally. This in turn can intensify the depression. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of depression.

There are many factors associated with the development of depression. These include an imbalance in the brain of chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Neurotransmitters function within areas of the brain that regulate emotions and mood. Situational or environmental factors also play a role. These include traumas or stressors, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or a divorce. Depression may also run in families. Current research is searching for specific genes that may be involved in passing a tendency toward developing depression in family lines.

There are a variety of types of depression. These include major depression, which is the most intense and serious type of depression. Dysthymic disorder is a less severe type of depression that is not as disabling as major depression, but is long lasting and negatively affects effective functioning and feelings of well being. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, involves cycling mood changes, from depression to mania, an extremely energetic and "up" state. Post-partum depression is a depression that occurs after childbirth.

There is no specific test to diagnose depression. Making a diagnosis of depression begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a complete physical examination and mental health exam. Tests may also be ordered to ensure that symptoms are not related to other conditions, such as hypothyroidism. A referral to a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health provider is often made to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of depression.

It is possible that a diagnosis of depression can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be vague, associated with other conditions, or because of the stigma associated with mental illness. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of depression.

Treatment of depression varies depending on its severity of the condition, and a person's medical history, age, lifestyle, and general health. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of depression....more »

Depressive symptoms: Although depressive symptoms can obviously be caused by depressive disorders such as depression, there are many other possible reasons that may lead to feelings of being down, sad or "depressed". Just because you feel "depressed", doesn...more »

Depressive symptoms: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of depression may be missed or delayed for a wide variety of reasons. For example, people with depression may fear the stigma of or be embarrassed by mental illness and not seek treatment.

A diagnosis of depression can be missed because symptoms of depression can be related to many other conditions. At the same time, depression can ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Depressive symptoms:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Depressive symptoms. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Depressive symptoms: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Common Causes of Depressive symptoms

Home Diagnostic Testing and Depressive symptoms

Home medical tests possibly related to Depressive symptoms:

Causes of Types of Depressive symptoms:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Depressive symptoms:

Review causes of types of Depressive symptoms in more specific categories:

Depressive symptoms: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Depressive symptoms, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Depressive symptoms Treatments

Depression is treatable. In general, the sooner that the symptoms of depression are recognized and treated, the more effective treatment will be. The overall treatment goal for people living with depression is to feel better and live normal, functional, and productive lives. The most effective treatment plans generally include a multifaceted approach and may include ...Depressive symptoms Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Depressive symptoms may include:

Review further information on Depressive symptoms Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Depressive symptoms

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Depressive symptoms may include:

Stories from Users for Depressive symptoms

Real-life user stories relating to Depressive symptoms:

Message Boards for Depressive symptoms

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Depressive symptoms or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Depressive symptoms:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Depressive symptoms. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • Examine for possible causes of physical illness that may cause depression or present as depression
    • Mental state examination - including appearance, behavior, rate and continuity of speech, mood, affect, thought content, evidence of any hallucinations or abnormal beliefs, orientation to time, place and person, attention and concentration, short-term memory, insight and judgement.
  • Blood tests (to rule out specific causes of depression)
    • Full blood count
  • more tests...»

Medications or substances causing Depressive symptoms:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Depressive symptoms as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Depressive symptoms:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Depressive symptoms as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Zolpidem and benzodiazepine interaction
  • Ambien and benzodiazepine interaction
  • Zolpidem and diazepam interaction
  • Ambien and diazepam interaction
  • Meprobamate and alcohol interaction
  • more interactions...»

Depressive symptoms: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Depressive symptoms may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Depressive symptoms

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Depressive symptoms:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Depressive symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Depressive symptoms Assessment Questionnaire (28 listings)

Depressive symptoms: Deaths

Read more about causes and Depressive symptoms deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Depressive symptoms

Rare epilepsy can cause a variety of severe emotional and depressive symptoms: The book "Preventing Misdiagnosis of Women" reports on a case of a woman with severe personality and behavioral symptoms, and a diagnosis of ...read more »

High rate of misdiagnosis of psychiatric disorders: The book "Preventing Misdiagnosis of Women" reports on studies that estimate that 41% to 83% of people who are treated for...read more »

Physical disorders often hidden causes of depression: It is a common misdiagnosis to diagnose a psychological or psychiatric disorder, such as depression, when symptoms are actually caused by an underlying...read more »

Underactive thryoid may be misdiagnosed as depression: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is an endocrine gland disorder that is more common in...read more »

Adrenal gland disorder difficult to correctly diagnose: Addison's disease, a disorder of the adrenal glands, causes a variety of symptoms, and is often misdiagnosed in early stages. Common misdiagnoses include depression or schizophrenia....read more »

Cushing's disease can be mistaken for depression: Cushing's disease (or similarly Cushing's syndrome) is a possible misdiagnosis for a person...read more »

Manic-depressive (bipolar) disorder often misdiagnosed: Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is often misdiagnosed before reaching a correct diagnosis. Some of the...read more »

Calcium disorder a hidden cause of depression-like symptoms: Another uncommon endocrine disorder that can be misdiagnosed as depression is hypocalcemia (low blood calcium), which is usually due to a disorder of the parathyroid gland called "...read more »

Various mental health symptoms caused by rare epilepsy: Temporal lobe epilepsy is a less common form of epilepsy that does not have the typical physical seizures. Patients can...read more »

Rare seizure-less epilepsy misdiagnosed as various conditions: A complex partial seizure disorder, such as temporal lobe epilepsy can be...read more »

Multiple sclerosis often misdiagnosed as mental disorder: The early stages of multiple sclerosis may cause various general feelings of wellness,...read more »

Lupus is often misdiagnosed as other conditions: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), often simply called "lupus", is a difficult disease to diagnose and can manifest with numerous symptoms. Some of the possible misdiagnoses include ...read more »

Rare copper disease insidious and misdiagnosed: Wilson's disease (a form of copper overload) is a rare disorder that has a slow and insidious onset that can often fail to be diagnosed. Copper builds up in the liver and in the brain, usually in the...read more »

Insidious cancer misdiagnosed as mental health condition: Pancreatic cancer is fortunately relatively rare, but this dangerous condition can be misdiagnosed as a mental...read more »

Hidden diagnosis of chronic STD: The book "A Dose of Sanity" reports on a case of a many diagnosed with depression, who was correctly diagnosed with ...read more »

Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety of different severities. Diseases in this group...read more »

Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness because he suffered from...read more »

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or...read more »

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical...read more »

ADHD under-diagnosed in adults: Although the over-diagnoses of ADHD in children is a well-known controversy, the reverse side related to adults. Some adults...read more »

Bipolar disorder misdiagosed as various conditions by primary physicians: Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) often fails to be diagnosed correctly by primary care physicians. Many patients with bipolar seek help from their physician, rather than a...read more »

Eating disorders under-diagnosed in men: The typical patient with an eating disorder is female. The result is that men with eating disorders often fail to be diagnosed or have a delayed diagnosis. See misdiagnosis of eating disorders or symptoms of eating disorders....read more »

Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression can be undiagnosed in teenagers. The "normal" moodiness of teenagers can cause severe medical depression to be overlooked. See misdiagnosis of depression or...read more »

Undiagnosed anxiety disorders related to depression: Patients with depression (see symptoms of depression) may also have undiagnosed anxiety disorders (see symptoms of...read more »

Depressive symptoms: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Depressive symptoms

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Depressive symptoms:

Depressive symptoms: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Depressive symptoms: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Depressive symptoms

Everyone gets the blues now and then. Itís part of life. But when there is little joy or pleasure after visiting with friends or after seeing a good movie, there may be a more serious problem. A depressed mood that stays around for a while, without let-up, can change the way a person thinks or feels. Doctors call this "clinical depression." (Source: excerpt from Depression: NWHIC)

Definitions of Depressive symptoms:

A mental state of depressed mood characterised by feelings of sadness, despair and discouragement. (On-line Medical Dictionary)
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Organs affected by Depressive symptoms:

The list of organs typically affected by Depressive symptoms may include, but is not limited to:

  • Brain
  • General constitution

Detailed list of causes of Depressive symptoms

The list below shows some of the causes of Depressive symptoms mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Depressive symptoms?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Depressive symptoms. Of the 629 causes of Depressive symptoms that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 17 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 28 causes are "common" diseases
  • 8 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 2 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 16 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 592 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Depressive symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Depressive symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Depressive symptoms or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Depressive symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have Depressive symptoms or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Causes of Depressive symptoms Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Depressive symptoms based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Depressive symptoms?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Depressive symptoms, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    What are the alternative names for Depressive symptoms:

    Primary affective disorder
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Depressive symptoms:

    Subtypes of Depressive symptoms:

    Postpartum depression (6 causes), Major depression (6 causes), Mental depression (18 causes), Sadness (20 causes), Sad (8 causes), Despair (16 causes), Hopelessness (28 causes), Suicidal tendencies (17 causes), Self harm (18 causes), Suicidal symptoms (80 causes), Acute depression-like symptoms (8 causes), Acute episodic depression-like symptoms (7 causes), Acute recurring depression-like symptoms (7 causes), Acute recurring depression-like symptoms in pregnancy (14 causes), Acute seasonal depression-like symptoms (3 causes), Change in appetite similar to that in depression (49 causes), Chronic depression-like symptoms (8 causes), Chronic episodic depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Chronic recurring depression-like symptoms (9 causes), Chronic seasonal depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Depression due to brucellosis (4 causes), Depressive symptoms in pregnancy (14 causes), Episodic depression-like symptoms (7 causes), Feeling futile (12 causes), Intermittent depression-like symptoms (6 causes), Intermittent episodic depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Intermittent seasonal depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Lack of interest (5 causes), Loss of interest (1 cause), Loss of interest in activities (26 causes), Loss of pleasure in activities (19 causes), Major depression in pregnancy (17 causes), Mental depression in pregnancy (17 causes), Mild depression (24 causes), Mild depression in pregnancy (17 causes), Mild depression-like symptoms (5 causes), Mild depression-like symptoms in pregnancy (17 causes), Mild episodic depression-like symptoms (3 causes), Mild recurring depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Mild seasonal depression-like symptoms (2 causes), Moderate depression (22 causes), Moderate depression in pregnancy (17 causes), One or more episodes of decreased interest (22 causes), One or more episodes of depressed mood (22 causes), Postpartum blues (5 causes), Recurring depression-like symptoms (12 causes), Recurring episodic depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Recurring seasonal depression-like symptoms (3 causes), Seasonal depression-like symptoms (4 causes), Severe depression-like symptoms (12 causes), Severe episodic depression-like symptoms (6 causes), Severe recurring depression-like symptoms (11 causes), Severe seasonal depression-like symptoms (4 causes), The blues (16 causes), Thought of injuring one self as in depression (21 causes), Anhedonia (14 causes), Anheidonia (11 causes), Hypomania-like symptoms (9 causes), Acute hypomania-like symptoms (7 causes), Chronic hypomania-like symptoms (8 causes), self-mutilation (50 causes), Recurring hypomania-like symptoms (7 causes), Severe hypomania-like symptoms (9 causes), Intermittent hypomania-like symptoms (6 causes), Mild hypomania-like symptoms (4 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Depressive symptoms:

    Common symptoms (8589 causes), Society problems (1785 causes), Emotional symptoms (2080 causes), Behavioral symptoms (4608 causes), Personality symptoms (4029 causes), Psychiatric symptoms (971 causes), Mood symptoms (763 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes)

    Symptoms related to Depressive symptoms:

    Fatigue (3235 causes), Weakness (3752 causes), Tiredness (669 causes), Sleepiness (1139 causes), Anxiety (895 causes), Fear (366 causes), Postpartum depression (6 causes), Major depression (6 causes), Mental depression (18 causes), Sadness (20 causes), Sad (8 causes), Despair (16 causes), Hopelessness (28 causes), Suicidal tendencies (17 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Depressive symptoms

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Depressive symptoms and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Depressive symptoms

    Medical research papers related to Depressive symptoms include:

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