Depression Caused by Chronic Illnesses (cont.)

If the depressive symptoms are related to the physical illness or side effects of medicine, treatment may just need to be adjusted or changed. If the depression is a separate problem, it can be treated on its own. More than 80% of people with depression can be treated successfully with medicine, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Treatment with antidepressant drugs can start to work within a few weeks.

Tips For Coping With Chronic Illness

Depression, disability, and chronic illness form a vicious cycle. Chronic illness can bring on bouts of depression, which, in turn, can lead to a run-down physical condition that interferes with successful treatment of the chronic condition.

Following are some tips to help you better cope with a chronic illness:

  • Learn how to live with the physical effects of the illness.
  • Learn how to deal with the treatments.
  • Make sure there is clear communication with your doctors.
  • Try to maintain emotional balance to cope with negative feelings.
  • Try to maintain confidence and a positive self-image.
  • Get help as soon as symptoms of depression appear.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology.

Edited by Cynthia Haines, MD, WebMD, July 2005.


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Last Editorial Review: 11/28/2005