Prim Care. 1999 Jun;26(2):211-24. doi: 10.1016/s0095-4543(08)70003-4.


Depression often presents with physical symptoms, primarily fatigue, pain, or sleep disturbance. Depressed mood may or may not be present. Supportive counseling and pharmacotherapy are more effective than either modality alone. The newer drugs are better tolerated than earlier agents, and they achieve much greater patient adherence. Depression is considered a chronic disease. The likelihood of recurrence increases with the number of episodes, often calling for prolonged maintenance of medication. Most patients with mild to moderate depression can be effectively managed by their primary care physician, with referral required only for those who are unresponsive to therapy or who are suicidal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents