Major depression is one of the most common psychiatric problems complicating the treatment and prognosis of patients with active medical illness. Recognizing and treating major depressive conditions in this population can often be challenging, even for the most seasoned clinicians. This article reviews the medical and neurologic conditions that have been associated with the high prevalence rates of major depression. Highlights of the evaluation process that help confirm this suspected diagnosis are addressed, and management issues are discussed. Brief reviews of supportive psychotherapeutic tools that the clinician may find helpful are included, as well as current advances in pharmacologic interventions.
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