Additional Serious Health Hazards of Depression

One study of ten thousands met and women over sixty five with blood pressure readings higher than 160/95 found that over a three-year period, the ones with symptoms of depression suffered strokes at almost three times the rate of their hypertensive but un-depressed peers. Depressed patients recovering from a hip fracture and from pneumonia and other infections had more difficulty regaining functions like walking. Other research suggests that up to one third of Alzheimer’s patients become clinically depressed at some point in the course of this illness. Doctors, and families, too, often take a fatalistic approach to Alzheimer’s and do nothing about the depression, even though some of the afflicted will make small but significant improvements when treated for it.
Psychiatrists who specialize in treating cancer patients say that mush the same problems arise there as well. Doctors fail to prescribe an antidepressant because they think, “If I had that illness I had feel dreary, too.” Often, cancer-related problems, such as pain, are prominent provokers of depression –another major reason some patients adopt adopt what physicians think of as a “rational” approach to suicide.

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