Depression Complications

Depression Complications

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    ATarique Perera, Psychiatry, answered
    What are the risks of untreated depression?

    Untreated depression can put people at high risk for other health conditions like heart disease and can prevent them from functioning at their optimum. In this video, Tarique Perera, MD, a psychiatrist with Contemporary Care of Connecticut, explains.

  • 1 Answer
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    AMarsha Lucas, Psychology, answered
    Can depression create problems in my relationship?

    Depression can have a big impact on your relationship, says neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD. In this WisePatient video, she explains how depression and anxiety can negatively change the dynamic between partners.


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    APeter Bongiorno, ND, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    A recent Korean study looked at 660 patients and found that there is a clear association between level of knee pain and increased incidence of depression. It seems that in people with low levels of degeneration and arthritic changes, if their pain levels were expectedly higher, they were more likely to also be depressed.

    Given that neuroimmune research has shown patients with depression to have higher levels of inflammation in their body that can inflame the brain, it makes sense that those with joint pain will also suffer higher levels of pain, due to increased prostaglandins and inflammatory cytokines (immune system molecules) that increase our perception of pain.

    Arthritis is already known to be more prevalent in patients with depression. This study is interesting, for it teaches doctors that it may be necessary to look more carefully at a patient who seems to have joint pain that is greater than the damage or trauma might suggest. As a natural medicine practitioner, it also reminds me that natural treatments that work on inflammation (usually aimed at calming an inflamed digestive tract creating an anti-inflammatory diet) can help both knee pain and depression. Acupuncture is also wonderful to address both symptoms while working on the underlying causes of joint pain and low mood.
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    ARealAge answered

    Take time to find -- and do -- things that make you happy. It could mean better blood sugar. It's true. A study shows that depressed people may be 42% more likely to develop diabetes. And the stronger the sad symptoms, the greater the odds.

    Sad feelings, researchers suspect, can make you want to do some pretty unhealthy things -- like pig out before bed, sack out on the couch all day or maybe even smoke or drink. And those are all things that could put you on the road to diabetes. But bad habits are only part of the picture, experts note. Even in the absence of bad habits, depressed people are still more likely to develop diabetes. 

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    AJohn Preston, PsyD, Psychology, answered
    Disordered sleep is extremely common in people with depression. Insomnia is especially common, particularly waking frequently throughout the night and waking early in the morning and being unable to return to sleep. Even if they do manage to sleep through the night, people with depression may also have poor quality sleep. This means that you don’t get enough deep, restful sleep, which can result in fatigue during the day, forgetfulness, an inability to concentrate and heightened emotional sensitivity, such as being more easily frustrated and overwhelmed.
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    AJohn Preston, PsyD, Psychology, answered
    Treatment for depression is essential. In the United States, it is estimated that two-thirds of people suffering from clinical depression never receive treatment. This is especially disturbing since most depressions can usually be treated successfully. Left untreated, people suffer tremendously and needlessly. Lives are ruined, marriages fall apart, school performance plummets, jobs are lost, health can become compromised, and many people turn to increased alcohol use (and abuse), and some commit suicide. But this need not happen. The keys to avoiding such negative results are these:

    - Take action to get professional help, which includes
    psychotherapy and perhaps treatment with antidepressant
    medications.

    - Learn about depression and make sure that family members learn about it as well. During recovery from depression, ongoing support from family members can be crucial, but for this to occur, family members must become well-informed about depression.

    - Develop an attitude of compassion for yourself. This
    is critical. Stem the tide of harsh self-criticism, and be
    kind to yourself.

    - Finally, adopting an action-oriented strategy that pulls out all of the stops, using a number of self-help approaches that have proved to be powerful methods for reducing depression, can be enormously helpful while you are combating depression.
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    AJohn Preston, PsyD, Psychology, answered
    There are several types of sleep disturbances common in depression: early morning awakening (for example, waking up at 4 a.m. and being unable to return to sleep), frequent awakenings throughout the night, and excessive sleeping. Note that difficulty in falling asleep may be seen with depression, but this can be seen with anyone experiencing stress in general.
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    People with depression are more likely to have other mental health problems. For example, anxiety disorders -- such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and others -- are often paired with depression. So are eating disorders and drug and alcohol abuse. Also, in some people, depression can be part of bipolar disorder (manic depression).
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    About half of the people who have a first episode of depression will have another episode within 10 years. The risk of further bouts of depression is higher than in someone who has never been depressed.

    Alcohol and drug abuse are very common among people with depression.

    Depressive disorder can have devastating effects on relationships as complete isolation and withdrawal during depression are common.

    Suicide may be a complication of untreated, mistreated, or misdiagnosed depression. Women attempt suicide more often than men do, but men are much more likely to succeed in killing themselves. The rate of suicide is four times greater for men. Men over 70 are the most likely to commit suicide. Calling a local suicide hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, can be help for someone thinking of suicide.

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    ARealAge answered

    Along with emotional symptoms and fatigue, major depression can also cause the depressed person to lose interest in food, or use food to self-medicate. You may notice that your aunt with the once hearty appetite no longer seems interested in food, and she is losing weight, says Michael Garrett, MD, vice chairman and professor of Clinical Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. "She's not eating her usual portion or showing relish for the meal." The opposite may also be true – she may be overeating and gaining weight.

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