How is depression related to other mental disorders?


Depression may occur in people who are diagnosed with other mental disorders. The term comorbidity applies to the simultaneous diagnosis of two or more psychiatric or medical conditions. It implies that the conditions occur together (or co-occur).

Among people with mild-to-moderate depression, 39% experience symptoms of major depression; in other words, they suffer from double depression.

Among people with mild-to-moderate depression, 11% also suffer from panic disorder, 3% are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and 46% have concurrent anxiety disorders. Fully 30% of people with mild-to-moderate depression have a substance abuse disorder. In all, among people with mild-to-moderate depression, more than 3 in 4 (77%) have a second psychiatric diagnosis in addition to depression. Most people with mild-to-moderate depression are diagnosed first with depression and later with the additional psychiatric disorder. Because depression is the first illness detected, the diagnosis is properly termed primary dysthymia.

Compared to individuals who have no psychiatric disorder, dysthymics have higher rates of psychiatric treatment use and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

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