Medical Conditions May Lead to Sadness, Frustration and Hopelessness
From the GIC Winter 2003 Newsletter
If you have a chronic illness, you have a higher risk than the general population for depression. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Ongoing sad mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
- Significant change in appetite or weight
- Oversleeping or difficulty sleeping
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
A 1990 study published in General Hospital Psychiatry study estimates that depression occurs in over 40% of high medical care users, and anxiety occurs in 22%. Chronic pain conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, back and pelvic pain, and irritable bowel syndrome frequently correspond with feelings of depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse. This study found the following prevalence of depression with the corresponding medical conditions. Depression for the general population is 17.3%:
Coronary Heart Disease
Chronic Lung Disease
If you or someone you care about has one of these medical conditions, seek help immediately if you experience signs of depression. HMO members -- talk to your primary care physician for a referral to a behavioral health expert. Indemnity and Navigator by Tufts Health Plan members -- contact United Behavioral Health for assistance (enter 10910 as your access code).
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.