Major depression:
  • Depressed mood and associated signs and symptoms lasting more than 2 wk
  • Significant morbidity and mortality, including risk of suicide
  • Often coexists with other medical illness


  • Biologic illness associated with derangements in several neurotransmitter systems including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine
  • Contributing factors:
    • Genetic predisposition
    • Psychosocial stress: Depression may follow adverse life event, trauma, loss of important relationship, or life role
    • Medical illness
  • Higher prevalence in women

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