Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 13, 2013

Depression and illness, which comes first?

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:41 am

From the Harvard Medical School newsletter, I learned that sometimes the root of depression is physical illness. Interesting to know.

Depression is more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. It can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can sap the joy out of once-pleasurable activities.

Sometimes, a physical illness can trigger depression. When that happens, depression can affect the course of a physical disease. This seems an chicken-or-egg story. Two common thyroid disorders are well known to affect mood.

If the thyroid makes too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), manic symptoms can result. If the gland makes too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), exhaustion and depression can appear. Treating thyroid disease can often relieve the mood problems.

The take-home message is that if you have depression, or think you might, a thorough physical exam and careful medical history could help pinpoint a physical source of the problem — and the most appropriate treatment.

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