Considering Treatable Causes of Depression
A diagnosis of depression can be made with confidence if a person is experiencing at least five signs of the condition (see Symptoms of Depression) over at least a two-week period. The recommended treatment will depend on the type (see Types of Depression), as well as its severity and the length of time it has been present.
Another factor that will play a role in depression treatment is whether it is being caused by another condition. A number of treatable conditions can cause depression. Treating these conditions can help improve symptoms. Therefore, as part of diagnosing depression, the healthcare provider will also consider these conditions, which can include:
- Drug-induced depression from medicines such as:
- Substance abuse, including alcohol or cocaine abuse
- Certain metabolic conditions, such as:
- Neurologic conditions, such as:
- Nutritional problems, including vitamin B12 deficiency
- Certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.