Depression and illness: Chicken or egg?

When depression strikes, doctors usually probe what’s going on in the mind and brain first. But it’s also important to check what’s going on in the body, since certain medical problems are linked to mood disturbances. In fact, medical illnesses — and medication side effects — may be behind nearly 10% to 15% of all cases of depression.

It’s not uncommon for a physical illness to trigger depression. Up to half of heart attack survivors and those with cancer report feeling blue, and many are diagnosed with depression. Many people who have diabetes, Parkinson’s, and other chronic conditions become depressed.
Understanding Depression Depression is more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. It can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can sap the joy out of once-pleasurable activities. Effective treatment can lighten your mood, strengthen your connections with loved ones, allow you to find satisfaction in interests and hobbies, and make you feel more like yourself again.

It works in the other direction, too. Depression can affect the course of a physical disease. Take heart disease — depression has been linked with slower recovery from a heart attack and an increased risk for future heart trouble.

Here’s another chicken-or-egg example. Two common thyroid disorders are well known to affect mood. If the thyroid makes too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), manic symptoms can result. If the gland makes too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), exhaustion and depression can appear. Treating thyroid disease can often relieve the mood problems.

The list doesn’t stop there. Other medical conditions associated with mood disorders include certain neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s), other hormonal imbalances, and some nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12.

The take-home message is that if you have depression, or think you might, a thorough physical exam and careful medical history could help pinpoint a physical source of the problem — and the most appropriate treatment.

a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. more  

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Bansalji, the central theme of my working is to connect the person with his main theme of life, i.e. what he stands for in life, what's his purpose,where his talents can take him, how to evolve your goals.....it may not happen singularly-but is taken up in bits and pieces by connecting with what is possible he can undertake as actual projects/doable steps-exercises which fulfill his gaps of childhood when he was made to behave by showing him as lower in level when compared with others by acting on his guilt issues-this gets him develop a pattern which is either 'I'm OK-You're Not OK', or 'I'm Not OK-You're OK' or neither i am ok, nor you are Ok. The ultimate strength develops from the development of the approach of 'I'm OK-You're OK'

I have been giving talks on this and have developed a 6-session module more  
Anand jee - Agreed that dietary guidance and lifestyle / emotional development exercises will be helpful. more  
Very rightly pointed out-yes, not only reflexology & Bach, but he also needs dietary guidance/what foods to take...and some lifestyle/emotional development exercises-this is best achievable when you do not work on the problem but on his/her unique talents more  
Dear Anand Jee - Your thought and approach has one limitation. Your assumption is that patient would himself is keen to take this journey.
My view on this point is that patient is not a position to undertake this journey, even if it is THE BEST for it. It is you as Doctor, not the patient can make out that it is best for it. That is where psychology therapy fails. This can be overcome by complementing with using other alternative medicine therapies like Bach Flower, Reflexology. more  
thanks Parveenji & Madanji, afsoos is baat ka hota hai ki we keep solving bimaries but do not take our health forward....i have discovered that diseases are your negatively channelized talents-i have developed some ways of detecting talent and then nurturing it by feedback techniques. This is a never-fail approach, only barrier being if the patient himself is keen to undertake this journey or not-i.e. to convert the negatives to positive.i.e.! The biggest respect to God is by developing- evolving ur hunars, your unique talents that have been bestowed upon you by his grace...this is real bhakti in first person and side-by-side you are able to overcome the problem of duality of not having to consider his presence outside more  
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