Chronic Illness and Depression

Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Gordon share signs and symptoms of depression, common among people with a long-term illness like diabetes or cancer.

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DR. RODGERS: Did you know that people with long-term health problems such as diabetes have a higher risk of depression?

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health at NIH explains:

DR. GORDON: Having a long-term illness can affect your life in many ways. Temporary feelings of sadness can be normal and expected. You may face limits on what you can do, and feel upset or anxious thinking about the future. But if you feel sad, irritable, or very tired for longer than a few weeks and it’s causing problems with sleep, your work, or relationships, that may be depression. And it may continue, even as your physical health improves.

Don’t dismiss depression. Treatment is available and can help even if you have another health problem. Talk to your doctor and explore treatment options.

DR. RODGERS: For more information on chronic illness and depression, follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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