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since May 2004

Depression is one of the most common complications of every chronic illness.

Any chronic condition can trigger depression, but risk increases in direct proportion to the severity of the illness and the life disruption it causes.

Depression caused by chronic illness often aggravates the illness, especially if the condition causes pain, fatigue, or disruption of social life. Depression makes pain hurt more. It causes fatigue and lethargy that can exacerbate the loss of energy of many chronic conditions. Depression also aggravates social disruption because it tends to make people withdraw into social isolation.

Depression also impairs the immune system, which can hurt the body's efforts to combat chronic illness.

Taken from:
A Vicious Cycle: Chronic Illness And Depression

Why is depression common in people with a chronic illness?

People diagnosed with chronic illnesses must adjust to the demands of the illness itself, as well as to the treatments for their condition. The illness may affect a personís mobility and independence, and change the way a person lives, sees himself or herself, and/or relates to others. For these reasons, a certain amount of despair and sadness is normal. In some cases, a chronic illness may actually cause depression, which, though treatable, is a serious medical condition by itself.

Depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It is estimated that up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition experience symptoms of depression. Depression and illness may occur together because the physical changes associated with the illness trigger the depression, the individual has a psychological reaction to the hardships posed by the illness, or simply as a coincidence.
Taken from:
A Vicious Cycle: Chronic Illness And Depression