Life Changes Fast.
Imagine you were walking along a road one fine morning and a rushing car ran you over. The damage wasn’t life threatening but your legs had to be amputated. From walking happily, taking in the fresh morning air, you went to the cold, dingy hospital room in a matter of hours. You are unlikely to be able to walk again, unless you get bionic prosthetics. You will never feel the cold, wet grass on a dewy morning and you won’t feel the simmering hot floor on a typical summer afternoon. Your life has changed forever. You would immediately be more prone to depression than you were before.
The situation can be imagined with other scenarios as well. Being diagnosed with Diabetes, AIDS, cancer or any other disease which is a long term disease and is likely to disrupt your daily life would affect your mental health.
Depression As A Complication.
Depression is one of the most common complications of long term diseases. People who have a long term disease have to adjust their life to both the life after diagnosis and the treatment. The illness may have an effect on the person’s physical or mental capabilities. It would be hard to imagine your own life when you cannot use the abilities you were used to. The psychological toll that an event like this would have on every human is something that would be very hard to deal with. It would also alter the way a person looks at others, him/herself and lead to serious fall in self respect. It may also lead to losing your independence. If you are forced to become dependent on another person for day to day tasks, it is only natural and human that you would feel anguish and/or despair.
Scientists have managed to find relation between long term diseases and depression or anxiety but it is hard to establish causation when there are so many variables at play. It is also hypothesized that having depression may lead to a higher chance of contracting a heart attack, stroke or obesity. Some hospitals have actually started treating patients with long term diseases for both the disease and depression. They have to undergo regular psyche evaluations to keep a check on the mental health. It is a preventive measure which, some estimate, would save billions of dollars in healthcare and commercial business.
Depression caused by chronic illness can aggravate the illness, causing a vicious cycle to develop. Depression is especially likely to occur when the illness causes pain, disability, or social isolation. Depression in turn can intensify pain, fatigue, and the self-doubt that can lead the patient to avoid other people. It is important that the person visits a psychiatrist as soon as some negative thoughts appear in their thought process. People around the patient should be supportive and accepting but also make sure they don’t end up being serenading. It is not going to be something easy to deal with and the person suffering needs to make peace with their present as well. It is often seen that ruminating on the past life and lost abilities would only lead to higher chances of depression.
A physical illness may mean that something in the body is broken, but don’t let that also break your mind.