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1. A type of mood disorder (includes: depressive, bipolar, and secondary to
general medical condition (GMC))
2. Must distinguish between normal sadness i.e. bereavement
3. Prevalence rate of 3 to 5% in general population in Canada
4. Runs a chronic or recurrent course with high risk of mortality and morbidity
5. Neurotransmitter dysfunction at level of synapse (decreased activity of
serotonin, norepinepherine, dopamine)
6. Mean onset ~30 year, M:F 1:2
Depression: MSIGECAPS
M: Depressed Mood
S: Increase/decreased Sleep
I: Decreased Interest
G: Guilt
E: Decreased Energy
C: decreased Concentration
A: Increased/decreased Appetite
P: Psychomotor retardation
S: Suicidal ideation
G: Grandiosity
S: Sleep, decrease need
T: Talkative
P: Pleasure and pain
A: Activity
I: Inattention
D: Distractibility
Psychotic features: up to 20% of MDD patients can exhibit psychotic features of
hallucination or delusions
Medical Workup for Mood Disorder:
Routine screening
 Physical examination (to rule out general medical condition)
 CBC-d, electrolytes, liver panel, glucose, urea, creatinine, folate
(metabolic disturbance), Vit B12
 Thyroid function test
 Electrolytes
 Urinalysis, urine drug screen
 Ethanol level (intoxication or withdrawal)
Major Depressive D/O
1. 5 (or more) symptoms that affect function for >2 weeks and represent a
change in function. (See DSM IV)
2. Not due to physiological effects of a general medical condition or substance
Dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder, Substance Induced Mood Disorder
1. Emergent: admit to hospital for high suicide risk or danger to self or others.
May require certification.
2. Treatment Options:
a) Medication (SSRI, SNRI, Bupropion, Mirtazipine, TCA, and MAOI)
If patient is started on medication they must be monitored weekly
for suicidal ideation for 4 to 6 weeks. Note: anxiety and depression
often co-exist so treatment of depression can unmask anxiety
disorder and unresponsive anxious patients should be screened for
b) Psychotherapy (interpersonal, cognitive, behavioural, supportive,
c) Social: Education, regular exercise program, establish therapeutic
3. Follow up: close follow up for response and safety assessment
4. Referral: refer to psychiatry if treatment resistant, psychotic features, thought
disorder or unsure of diagnosis.