The evaluation and treatment of depressive disorders are vital functions for practicing primary care physicians. Depression is a prevalent, recurrent, highly treatable disorder that is debilitating and leads to significant psychosocial impairment. In view of the broadly available armamentarium of safe, newer medications, primary care physicians should be proficient in the treatment of these disorders. The following review will provide a synopsis of the current state of diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of depression in the primary care setting. Appropriate treatment of depression can result in improvement in emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms of depression and reduce psychosocial impairment, disability, and associated medical morbidity.
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