3. Idiopathic Depressive Disorders: Basic Principles

  1. Andres M. Kanner MD2,3,4
  1. John J. Barry MD

Published Online: 4 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118348093.ch3

Depression in Neurologic Disorders: Diagnosis and Management

Depression in Neurologic Disorders: Diagnosis and Management

How to Cite

Barry, J. J. (2012) Idiopathic Depressive Disorders: Basic Principles, in Depression in Neurologic Disorders: Diagnosis and Management (ed A. M. Kanner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118348093.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Departments of Neurological Sciences and Psychiatry, Rush Medical College at Rush University, Chicago, IL, USA

  2. 3

    Laboratory of EEG and Video-EEG-Telemetry, Chicago, IL, USA

  3. 4

    Section of Epilepsy and Rush Epilepsy Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Psychiatry, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 24 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330588

Online ISBN: 9781118348093



  • major depressive disorder;
  • dysthymia;
  • bipolar affective disorder;
  • anxiety disorder


Depressive disorders have become an increasing problem for physicians dealing with patients complaining of medical issues. However, it is important to have a clear idea of how depressive illness appears and is treated in the general population to fully understand the connection between idiopathic depression and mood disorders appearing as a comorbidity of a medical disease. This chapter focuses on the phenomenology, diagnosis, and treatment issues of patients displaying a depressive disorder not associated with a concomitant medical disease entity. In addition, comorbidity of depression with other psychiatrically diagnosed conditions, especially anxiety complaints, is also discussed. Recognition of the co-occurrence of both disorders is crucial, since a more refractory course of illness can be expected. Since studies of depression in central nervous system (CNS) disorders are scarce, it is hoped that a thorough knowledge of the appearance and treatment of idiopathic depressive disorders will provide a useful template and model for diagnosis and treatment of depression in patients with a CNS disorder.