Why Chronic Illness and Depression Aggravate Each Other

Why Chronic Illness and Depression Aggravate Each Other: Part OneNearly one of every two American adults suffers from a chronic disease that’s long lasting or permanent. A complete cure isn’t possible usually, but medications and lifestyle modifications can help control it. Research shows that having a chronic condition may be depressing, and depression can worsen an ongoing malady. An estimated one-third of serious disease patients also have mood disorders like depression and anxiety. About 68 percent of adult mood disorder patients have one or more co-existing physical conditions. Yet depression remains undiagnosed and untreated in many chronic illness patients.

Common Concurrent Conditions

Traditional depression odds are 10 to 25 percent in women and five to 12 percent among men. But a chronic condition raises everyone’s risk to 25-33 percent. Your chances are particularly high if you have a depression history. The likelihood of simultaneous chronic disease and depression rises according to illness severity and the amount of everyday disruption this combination creates.

Scientific evidence indicates that the most common coexisting conditions are chronic pain syndrome, heart attacks, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancers, strokes, diabetes, and heart disease without cardiac arrest. Order affordable medicine from Canada Drug Pharmacy for these and additional illnesses.

Chronic pain syndrome:

Some 30-54 percent of these patients experience depression. Pain combines an unpleasant physical sensation with an emotional reaction that resembles depression. This condition is depressing while depression triggers and deepens pain. Ongoing pain triples psychiatric symptom odds of developing anxiety or mood disorders, and depression raises your chronic pain chances three times.

Heart attacks:

The depression rate for these patients is 40 to 65 percent. Although mental stress impacts heart health, depression plays a key destructive role after cardiac arrests. Researchers determined that depressed heart attack survivors had a 17-percent higher death risk during the first six months while that rate was just three percent among cardiac arrest subjects without depressive disorders.

Parkinson’s disease:

Depression affects 40 percent of these patients. Besides a serious illness diagnosis triggering depression, Parkinson’s disease involves pathological causes. Brain images revealed that Parkinson’s patients might have an elevated number of serotonin reuptake pumps, which help regulate mood. They reduce serotonin levels, which may increase depression. The National Institute of Mental Health warns that each illness can worsen the other’s symptoms.

Multiple sclerosisMultiple sclerosis:

About 40 percent of MS patients experience depression. This life-changing diagnosis creates emotional stress, but the physical disease process may deepen depression. MS damages your brain’s nerve and myelin fibers. If it impacts the areas you need for emotional processing, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that behavioral changes including depression can occur. MS also can lead to neuroendocrine and/or immune system changes that affect depression. Some evidence shows that immune parameter changes accompany mood fluctuations in MS patients. Certain MS drugs including corticosteroid and interferon medications might activate or intensify depression.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

One study found that 40 percent of the people suffering with PTSD developed depression four months after their traumatic events.


A third of advanced cancer patients, a fourth of all cancer sufferers, and a fifth of terminal cancer patients experience depression. Yet under half receive treatment. Any cancer diagnosis can generate anxiety, depression, and fear. The American Cancer Society notes that you may feel helpless and grieve over this dreaded life event that’s beyond your control while also dealing with alarming implications and unexpected body image changes. Unpredictable suffering and death may be terrifying. Nausea, pain, and fatigue are likely to create emotional distress, reducing medication adherence.


Sadness and despair occur in 10 to 27 percent of stroke patients. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, hopelessness might interfere with your functioning while inhibiting your quality of life. Untreated depression may be dangerous because it slows the stroke recovery process. Biological and behavioral risk factors like the stroke damaging your brain, genetic influences, and social isolation may lead to depression. You might be more irritable, experience personality changes, or not follow your treatment regimen.


Moodiness afflicts 25 percent of diabetics. The American Diabetes Association warns that untreated depression may create problems. Daily blood sugar management can be stressful and overwhelming while causing sadness and isolation. Diabetes, depression, and limited energy can initiate an unhealthy cycle. If anxiety prevents you from thinking straight, your diet may suffer. Skip meals, and your glucose level can plummet while deepening your depression. Even after adjusting for additional risk factors including exercise and weight, depression increases women’s diabetes odds by 17 percent.

Heart disease without cardiac arrest:

Major depression affects up to 20 percent of patients who’ve undergone coronary artery bypass surgeries and up to 15 percent of cardiovascular disease patients. People in the first group who go without depression treatment have greater illness and mortality rates. Depressed cardiac patients have higher heart disease risks like greater platelet reactivity, reduced heart variability, and elevated pro-inflammatory markers. The American Heart Association recommends that all cardiac patients undergo depression screenings.

Why Chronic Illness and Depression Aggravate Each Other: Part TwoResearch demonstrates that a blend of biological, genetic, psychological, and environmental factors can lead to depression. Combining it with a chronic disease affects people differently. Either condition can cause the other. Depression may stem from an ongoing malady’s biological and physical effects. An illness can bring on difficulties that trigger depression or disrupt healthy functioning, which can impact your mood adversely.

Some serious diseases can necessitate considerable life changes, which may limit your independence and mobility. If doing what you enjoyed previously becomes impossible, sadness and despair may replace your confidence and hopes for the future.

Discovering How this Combination Occurs

A chronic disease that triggers depression tends to worsen, especially if it involves discomfort and weakness or restricts your interacting abilities. Depression may intensify your pain, sluggishness, and fatigue. Simultaneous sickness and depression may lead to self-imposed isolation, which will probably worsen your depression.

A study found that patients suffering from depression experience a lower quality of life with nearly twice the number of missed work or restricted activity days. Besides exacerbating your ongoing illness, depression increases mortality rates.

Recognizing Depression Symptoms

You, your family, and doctor may disregard your depression symptoms, assuming that sadness is typical with your serious illness. Physical medical problems also might mask your depression indicators. While your doctor focuses on your long-term medical illness, he may overlook depression as a coexisting condition that requires treatment. He might not consider that something besides your chronic disease is causing poor concentration or fatigue. So he might treat your symptoms but not your underlying depression. Or he may skip treatment because your physical ailment would depress anyone.

When you suffer from continuous disease and depression simultaneously, you need concurrent treatments for both. Dr. Joan Mackell, Ph.D., advises consulting your doctor if any of these symptoms arise during a chronic malady:

  • Lost interest in typically enjoyable activities
  • Significant weight or appetite changes that aren’t related to your lingering disease
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Exhaustion that’s unrelated to your chronic health problem
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating or slower thinking
  • Suicidal ideas or actions

Depression may cause these unhealthy behaviors that can worsen your serious condition:

  • Reduced treatment adherence
  • Increased smoking and drinking
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet

Exploring Treatment Options

If your chronic condition brings on depression, your mood can inhibit your disease treatment’s success. Take action to overcome depressive symptoms by seeing a medical or mental health professional for a depression screening as quickly as possible.

Prompt diagnosis and early treatments can ease your distress. Understand your treatment options including medications, psychotherapy, or a combination that can help control any negative thinking so you can view your circumstances and yourself more optimistically.

Seroquel (Quetiapine) will stabilize your mood to help control your anxiety and depression symptoms. Over 80 percent of patients improve with treatments for depression and underlying diseases. When this pairing occurs, adjusting your chronic medication also may be necessary. Search Canada Drug Pharmacy for medications that treat various health problems.

Handling your disease’s emotional components is vital to stop the dangerous descent that these interrelated illnesses can create. Depression treatment can lower your complication and suicide chances while upgrading your interminable condition, encouraging ongoing treatment plan compliance, and enhancing your quality of life.

Coping with Depression During Long-Term Disease

Coping with Depression During Long-Term DiseaseThe vicious cycle of enduring illness, disability, and depression can take a toll on you physically and emotionally. Experts offer tips to help you manage this challenging combination.

  • First, you must accept your concurrent illness and depression situation.
  • Choose expert medical and/or mental health professionals who are trustworthy, supportive, and open to addressing all of your questions, fears, anger, and concerns.
  • Study your mental and medical conditions.Understanding depression can help you appreciate the necessity of seeking the mental health care you need. Knowledge will inspire you to get the best treatments available so you can maximize your control and independence.
  • Build a support system of relatives, friends, and fellow sufferers.Frequent interactions with people who care about you can help you avoid isolation and fight depression. Consider joining a support group for peer guidance and encouragement. Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website to find support and educational programs. Your physician or therapist also may be able to recommend additional community resources.
  • Consult your doctor for pain management medications and techniques.
  • If you think any medicines could be impairing your mood, ask your provider about switching drugs.
  • Serious suicidal thoughts or attempts require emergency treatment.
  • Your doctor can recommend a helpful fitness program.Stay active by engaging in exercises that are appropriate for your medical condition and well-being.
  • Practice healthy habits.Eating well and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco can reduce your chronic condition’s negative effects and depression risk.
  • Maintain your regular routine.Your continual illness is a manageable challenge that you can integrate into your daily life.
  • Continue fun activities whenever possible.Connecting with other people, pursuing hobbies you enjoy, and learning new skills will boost your confidence, sense of belonging, and mood.