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Understanding depression and chronic illness

A question was posted by a woman to the diabetic support group that I belong to.  This woman asked the group if her diabetes could be causing or contributing to her depression. Yes, yes and yes!
  
There is a relationship between depression and illness, especially long term or chronic illness.  Illness can be an underlying cause of depression and other and psychological or emotional issues.  Chronic states of disease can contribute to stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and more.  These conditions may be short term or may become chronic just like the illness.  Another way to think if this is, whenever our bodies are unhealthy our minds may suffer.  Short term illnesses will normally have short term mental responses for instance, if you suffer from a cold or the flu that lasts two weeks or even more, we might find that we feel sad because we cannot function in our normal manner.  We have to stay home from work or school and we may miss the daily activities that we enjoy.  In essence we can't be ourselves!  As our symptoms are relieved and we begin to feel better, our mental outlook improves and we start to look forward to participating in our lives again.  We begin to think about those things that help us to enjoy life.  An example might be, "Thoughts of taking a trip when we’re feeling better."  This gives us hope and we begin to believe that life will get better.  When we are suffering from long term or chronic illness our bodies are in a constant state of stress or disease.  We might wonder about our futures and sometimes question if things will ever get better.  It becomes hard to hold positive thoughts and feelings in our minds.  We can become separated from the things that bring us joy. We can experience ourselves as being left out of routine events and activities. We also can be feeling grief.  The healthy person that we had known ourselves to be is gone.  Now we must learn to deal with this new self.  We must learn new routines which may involve new medication, changes in diet, learning to exercise, monitoring and our physical condition daily. Our energy and minds becomes focused on our disease.


If you find that you are experiencing depression there are things that can help.  Look for my next post at http://mindandspiritblogger.blogspot.mindandspiritblogger.blogspot.comcom for information on how manage depression.
Peace to you,
Susan

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