Depression has a 6-month prevalence of 5.8 percent and a lifetime prevalence of 17%. Three fourths of patients with depression improve with therapy. I. Diagnosis

A. Clinical evaluation should identify characteristics of depressed mood, loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, and history of past depression. Insomnia, hallucinations, suicidal ideation and planning, or alcohol and drug abuse should be sought. Symptoms may also include guilt feelings, thoughts of worthlessness, energy changes/fatigue, concentration/attention impairment, and appetite/weight changes.

B. Family history may reveal depression, suicide, or drug or alcohol abuse.

C. Suicide risk. The risk of suicide is higher in depressed patients who are divorced or widowed, elderly, white, male or living alone, and in those with chronic medical illness or psychotic symptoms.

Alcohol No More

Alcohol No More

Do you love a drink from time to time? A lot of us do, often when socializing with acquaintances and loved ones. Drinking may be beneficial or harmful, depending upon your age and health status, and, naturally, how much you drink.

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