What is the basis for diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

No physical findings are specific to major depressive disorder; instead, the diagnosis is based on the history and the mental status examination. Nevertheless, a complete mental health evaluation should always include a medical evaluation to rule out organic conditions that might imitate a depressive disorder. Most of these fall into the following major general categories:

  • Infection

  • Medication

  • Endocrine disorder

  • Tumor

  • Neurologic disorder


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