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Associated Conditions (Comorbidity) of Depression

Psychiatric Conditions Associated with Depression

Nearly three-quarters off all people with Major Depressive Disorder will experience another psychiatric disorder during their lifetime [ref].   About 60% will have an Anxiety Disorder, close to 25% will have a Substance Abuse problem, and 30% will have conditions that involve impulsive behavior, such as Pathological Gambling, Bulimia Nervosa, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder.  Over 40% of individuals with Depression will have a Personality Disorder, especially in cases of Chronic Depression or Dysthymia [ref]. 

Medical Conditions Associated with Depression

People with Depressive Disorders also seem to have higher rates of certain general medical conditions.   Perhaps the clearest example of this is the association between Depression and heart disease.  It is now known that Depression is a significant risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD) and strokes, and that following a heart attack individuals with a Depressive Episode are up to four times more likely to die of their heart disease [ref, ref].  This is a very concerning matter, especially when one considers that about 30% of people hospitalized for CAD will have a Depression [ref].  There is some evidence that treating a Depression associated with CAD with an SSRI antidepressant not only improves the Depression safely [ref], but can also improve the outcome of the person's CAD [ref].

Depression is also associated with increased rates of obesity, elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance, and immune system weaknesses [ref]. People with Depressive Disorders are also at greater risk of developing memory impairment and Alzheimer's Disease when they are elderly [ref]; it is unclear whether this risk is related to the severity or chronicity of a person's Depressive Disorder. Women who suffer from Depression have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis [ref].

In general, having a Major Depressive Episode or even depressive symptoms while experiencing a general medical illness makes it more difficult for people to recover from the general medical illnesses [ref].


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Suicide in Depression

Depression in Children and Adolescents