Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 5, May 2010

Circadian rhythms and depression

Philip Boyce Erin Barriball
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Depression is a common disorder in primary care. Disruptions to the circadian rhythms associated with depression have received little attention yet offer new and exciting approaches to treatment.
This article discusses circadian rhythms and the disruption to them associated with depression, and reviews nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical interventions to shift circadian rhythms.
Features of depression suggestive of a disturbance to circadian rhythms include early morning waking, diurnal mood changes, changes in sleep architecture, changes in timing of the temperature nadir, and peak cortisol levels. Interpersonal social rhythm therapy involves learning to manage interpersonal relationships more effectively and stabilisation of social cues, such as including sleep and wake times, meal times, and timing of social contact. Bright light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorders. Agomelatine is an antidepressant that works in a novel way by targeting melatonergic receptors.

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Printed from Australian Family Physician - https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2010/may/circadian-rhythms-and-depression
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