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