Posted in Depression
Studies have shown that depression can co-occur with virtually all other mental disorders and physical ailments. From type 2 diabetes to hypertension and psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar and anxiety, the list of comorbidities due to depression is endless. Depression and the resulting mental and physical illnesses have prevented millions of people from across the globe from living life to their fullest.
Many a times, physical health conditions significantly increase the risk of developing depression. Even certain medications, such as beta-blockers, which are prescribed to patients with hypertension, can also result in depression. The American Heart Association (AHA) has observed that depression is a common risk factor in patients with an acute coronary syndrome.
Clearly, major depression is a serious mental disorder that can lead to serious complications, putting the patient’s life at risk. The mental health condition has been found to be associated with increased financial burden primarily due to impaired work performance and loss of work productivity.
Coexistence of depression and psychiatric disorders
Depression is a predominant mental illness in America, afflicting nearly 16.1 million American adults in 2015. Depression and anxiety disorders are often seen co-occurring in a primary setup. Thus, the need of the hour is to understand the clinical implications, epidemiology and management of comorbidity in the primary care setting.
Listed below are some of the mental disorders commonly coexisting with depression:
Schizophrenia: Studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia suffer from major depressive disorder (MDD) at least once in their lifetime. Nearly 25 percent of the patients with schizophrenia are at a high risk for developing depression.
Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder (BD) is characterized by periods of mania, hypomania and depression. Moreover, the symptoms of depression in bipolar patients are quite similar to “unipolar depression,” characterized by prolonged periods of sadness, inactivity and loss of interest in day-to-day activities.
Anxiety: Though anxiety and depression are not similar in many aspects, they are often found to be coexisting. However, it can be very challenging to treat the comorbid condition due to severity of the symptoms of both depression and anxiety.
Substance abuse: Substance abuse and depression form a vicious circle. Studies have shown that substance abuse is rampant among people struggling with depressive disorder.
Eating disorders: Often, depression is a major factor for the development of eating disorders. However, a lot of bipolar patients meet the criteria for eating disorders as well.
Severe forms of depression have higher heritability
A study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry revealed that people with an early-age onset of depression and those showing severe depressive symptoms were at a higher risk for developing MDD, schizophrenia and bipolar. As part of the study, the researchers analyzed the genomic-code responsible for the inherited characteristic in 3331 respondents. Of these, 1539 subjects had MDD in the past.
“This study supports the idea that psychiatric disorders are heterogeneous and that the early onset and more severe forms of depression are the ones with greater heritability,” said Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry. It was also found that patients who met the DSM criteria for MDD were at a higher risk for suffering from schizophrenia as well.
According to Michael J. Bostwick, professor of psychiatry, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, an array of psychiatric and medical illnesses have symptoms that overlap with those of depression.
Road to recovery
The existence of a psychiatric disorder, along with clinical depression, could be fatal, therefore, it is extremely important to seek the right treatment and be aware of the signs and symptoms.
If you are looking for a treatment center that provides complete care for depression, contact the Depression Treatment Centers of California today to get details of the best depression centers in California. You can also dial our 24/7 helpline number 855-678-0400 to know about the best depression treatment facilities in California. Our online chat executives can also guide you to the California depression treatment centers where patients are treated using a comprehensive approach.
Read the other articles of the series “Impact of depression:”