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Feature Article

Dealing with depression and medical illness

PARAN NADESWARAN, CHRISTOPHER J. RYAN

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© FERGUS COYLE/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

Abstract

Many physical illnesses are associated with depression, and GPs regularly encounter people with medical illnesses who also have depression. GPs can efficiently and effectively lead the management of these patients.

Key Points

  • GPs can conduct efficient and effective assessments of depressive symptoms in people with medical illnesses in primary care settings.
  • Depression can exacerbate symptoms of medical illnesses and medical illness can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
  • Some commonly used medications for conditions such as heart disease, airways disease and cancer are associated with symptoms of depression.
  • GPs are best placed to manage care for most individuals with depression, but should always refer to a psychiatrist when in doubt.

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© FERGUS COYLE/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© FERGUS COYLE/STOCK.ADOBE.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY