Depression is a common psychiatric disorder that is often seen in tandem with another medical illness or condition. It is not fully understood why depression leaves one susceptible to physical disorders or why a physical condition increases the risk of developing depression. However, the good news is that depression is treatable even when compounded by other illnesses.
Depression is a serious mental disorder that negatively affects how a person thinks, acts and feels. When this psychiatric disorder is experienced alongside a medical condition, it can raise the disease burden of both conditions, often setting new boundaries on what the individual can or cannot do. Moreover, individuals with co-occurring disorders are harder to treat and incur higher medical costs than those who do not have depression. In some cases, depressive symptoms persist even when the physical condition improves.
Understanding dual ways of manifestation of depression
One of the ways the effects of depression manifest is in the form of a range of physical symptoms, such as pain, headache, digestive problems, etc. The prevalent research on depression suggests that depression affects physical health by altering several bodily functions that can cause inflammation, changes in heart rate and blood circulation, and metabolic changes akin to individuals at risk for developing diabetes. Moreover, depression heightens the risk of developing other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Alternatively, one can experience depressive symptoms due to a chronic illness, such as cancer, heart attack, etc. A recent diagnosis of a disease or a condition can leave anybody feeling rattled and discouraged, especially among depressed individual if it is a chronic condition like terminal cancer. Such conditions tend to incite pessimism in a person by triggering negative thoughts about the treatment outcomes and the future. While adapting to the changes inflicted by one’s illness, he or she is likely to witness dramatic shifts in mood and lesser interest in previously enjoyed activities due to doubts pertaining to the treatment.
Besides the above two forms of manifestation of depression, there are other relevant situations as mentioned below that can lead to depressive thoughts:
- Individuals with depression and other medical conditions may not have access to medical care.
- They may not be in a position to optimally take care of themselves despite seeking help, adhering to medications, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
- Certain medications for a medical condition can trigger the underlying symptoms of depression.
Depression is treatable
While the duration of rehabilitation and treatment outcomes for depression may vary from person to person, a large number of people suffering from depression have been successfully treated using a combination of talk therapies and medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Akin to most treatment for mental disorders, talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been quite effective in altering negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to depression.
The stigma around mental disorders, lack of access to health care and aggravation of a medical condition can uniquely dissuade a person from seeking help. However, depression treatment can make a huge difference in carrying out day-to-day activities even when the individual is coping with a chronic or a long-term illness.
Seek help to alleviate depression
As such, it is quite normal to experience the temporary feeling of sadness in the case of a diagnosis of a chronic disorder. However, if these symptoms persist longer than two weeks, an individual may be vulnerable to depression. Depression affects a person’s ability to perform daily tasks, derive pleasure, and maintain relationships at work and home. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the warning signs and share inner inhibitions and fears with family, friends and doctor.
If you or your loved one is battling the symptoms of depression, it is important to seek help. The Florida Depression Helpline assists in accessing the finest depression treatment centers in Florida that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-267-5177 or chat online to know more about the depression rehab centers in Florida.