Having a chronic illness makes it more likely that you’ll develop depression. Why? Anxiety and stress related to your illness can trigger symptoms of depression. Also, medications used to treat chronic illnesses can contribute to depression.
Not to mention, some risk factors for depression are directly linked to certain conditions. For example, Parkinson’s disease and stroke cause changes in the brain that may have a direct role in depression.
Antidepressants can be effective, although you will need to work with your healthcare provider or mental health professional to find one that works for you and doesn’t interfere with other treatment regimens. Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can also help you work through difficult situations and find new ways to cope.
Also consider these strategies:
Find a support group of people who share your condition.
Maintain a daily routine and try to remain involved in activities you enjoy.
Eat well, exercise, quit smoking, and limit alcohol intake. This may help reduce the negative effects of your chronic condition and lessen symptoms of depression.
Remember that depression isn’t permanent; between 80% and 90% of people eventually respond well to treatment. You can overcome depression and find fulfillment in life, regardless of your physical limitations.
Date Last Modified: 6/1/2022
Date Posted: 9/15/2023