Link Between Chronic Illness and Depression

Chronic illness and pain are generally associated with increased risk for depression, and depression is a common complication of being sick and in pain. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic reports that at least one-third of people living with a serious health condition will experience symptoms of depression.

Serious illnesses will bring out incredible challenges and hardships and complicate the ability to take pleasure in and pursue activities once enjoyed. It is no wonder that chronically ill people experience sadness and despondency.  So often, the physical effects of the illness and/or medication side effects may trigger depressed feelings.

Conditions that trigger depression

Many chronic illnesses may trigger depression, including the following:

  • Heart Disease

Up to 15% of people with heart disease experience depression, this according to the Cleveland Clinic. Further, as noted by a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, heart disease patients with depression have increased platelet reactivity, decreased heart variability, and increased pro-inflammation markers, which lead to increased risks, including heart attack.

Depression may increase blood pressure, affect heart rhythm, and alter blood clotting – all things that worsen heart disease or may trigger a heart attack.

Read the rest at News Medical.


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