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Although depression has been long considered an exclusively mental disorder, this book highlights the importance of recognizing it as a systemic--physical--illness. The chapters herein present key findings from research on animal models before proceding on to examine the allostatic load that depression bears on the body, commonly observed patterns of depression, and illnesses that it is likely to adversely effect--through mechanisms other than that of non-compliance with treatment. The authors also explore various diagnostic dilemmas including symptom-driven, phenomenologic approaches, and discuss drug-drug interactions and the use of unique electronic health records as collaborating agents to the physician.
Depression as a Systemic Illness emphasizes the need for the primary care physician to be the first agent to care for garden variety depressive disorders and the need to alter medical school and residency training to accommodate the development of the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to fulfill this goal. Its unique approach and presentation of depression makes it a key resource for clinicians within the fields of both psychiatry and primary care medicine.