Depression can be associated with many different medical conditions: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, stroke – to name a few – do travel quite frequently with depression. The big question that emerges in every situation is whether or not depression increases the risk of these conditions. So for example, if someone is depressed, they may not eat as well and they may be more prone to develop heart disease or diabetes. On the other hand, we might say that maybe heart disease and diabetes in some way contribute to depression both in terms of the stress that it can put on a person and the fear for their wellbeing, the need for many medical appointments, etc., as well as perhaps on a biological level that’s not really well understood at this point. Finally, you have to consider the possibility that maybe both the associated condition and the depression are the result of some common underlying cause that manifests in both of these different ways. So there’s definitely a lot of research that remains to be done, but for the time being, we definitely see that these conditions do seem to go together with depression.
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