Other Sources of Depression

Other physical and mental conditions may predispose you to developing depression, and so can the medications used to treat them, along with some other over-the-counter drugs and substances used for self-medicating.

Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition

If you are coping with a serious or chronic physical illness, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, or Parkinson's disease, you may find yourself also weighed down by the symptoms of depression. Depression may also be an early symptom of an impending medical illness. You'll read more about these topics later in the book.

Untreated depression may prolong the course of your other illness, negatively impact the quality of your life while you are trying to recuperate, and deplete your energy. If your other illness is serious or chronic, there is another potential risk that depression can bring to the table — suicide. Discuss how you are feeling with your physician and get relief from your depressive symptoms.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) notes that depression may be caused or precipitated by the use or abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medications, or exposure to toxins. That's quite an extensive list of items that offers depression as a nasty side effect. It's also a side effect you want to avoid.

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