Depression is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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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
    • Medical illness
    • Medication effects
    • Psychosocial stress: Depression may follow adverse life event, trauma, loss of important relationship, or life role
  • Higher prevalence in women. (Woman make more suicide attempts; men are more likely to complete suicide successfully)

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