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Depression, Anxiety, and Physical Health Problems

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

It's not unusual for mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety, to occur with long-term (chronic) diseases. For example, you may:

Depression

People who have chronic diseases such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hepatitis C, and stroke often also have depression. Depression also often occurs with chronic pain. Depression may occur with these problems because:

If you treat depression, it can improve your health and quality of life.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself.

Here are tools to help a friend or family member who may be depressed:

Anxiety

Anxiety and health problems also are linked. You may feel anxious because you have a health problem. And anxiety can make a health problem worse. For example, older men who have an anxiety disorder are more likely to have a heart attack.3

To help yourself:

For anxiety and depression, you can:

Many people have concerns about seeking treatment for a mental health problem. You may think it's a sign of weakness, or you don't want people to know about it. It's important to overcome these reasons for not seeking treatment.Treating depression or anxiety is good for your health.


References

Citations

  1. Muskin PR, et al. (2010). Major depressive disorder and other medical illness: A two-way street. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 22(4, Suppl 1): S15–S20.
  2. Golden SH, et al. (2008). Examining a bidirectional association between depressive symptoms and diabetes. JAMA, 299(23): 2751–2759.
  3. Shen B-J, et al. (2008). Anxiety characteristics independently and prospectively predict myocardial infarction in men. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 51(2): 113–119.

Credits for Depression, Anxiety, and Physical Health Problems

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health


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