Could my chronic medical condition be causing symptoms of depression?

Quite possibly. Many medical conditions create slow, dulled thinking, negative emotions, or other symptoms similar to those of unipolar major depression. However, most of the diseases that cause depressive symptoms (like strokes, heart failure, diabetes, etc.) can be detected by the history, examination, and laboratory tests that you get in a good physical examination from your internist or family doctor. This is why it is a good idea to have a physical examination before beginning depression treatment.

Following is a list of such medical problems that can confuse or complicate the diagnosis and treatment of unipolar major depression.

Alcoholism — Diabetes

Alzheimer’s Disease — Drug Abuse

Anemia (from B-vitamin — Heart Failure

or iron deficiency) — HIV Infection

Asthma — Huntington’s Disease

Cancer — Kidney Disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Menopause

Disorder (COPD) — Multiple Sclerosis

Myasthenia Gravis — Stroke

Parkinson’s Disease — Systemic Lupus Erythematosis

Perimenopause — Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Premenstrual Syndrome — Thyroid Disorder

Rheumatoid Arthritis — Viral Hepatitis

Sleep Apnea