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What medical conditions can directly contribute to depression?

Thyroid dysfunction can be a direct cause of depression.

Does depression affect other medical conditions?

Depression may be associated with the development of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or lupus. It also causes poor outcomes from these conditions.

How does depression affect lifestyle habits?

Depression may increase the likelihood of smoking, drug or alcohol use, lack of physical activity, and lack of social contact with others.

Do women experience depression more than men?

Yes, women are two times more likely to experience depression than men, despite the country or culture that they live in. Reasons for this difference are thought to involve hormonal differences, the effects of childbirth, different psychosocial stressors for women and for men, and, for some women, behavioral models of learned helplessness.

Does depression become more likely with age?

No, there is no association between an increase in depression and a person’s age. The average age of onset for major depressive disorder is about 40 years, with 50 percent of all patients experiencing a major depressive disorder between the ages of 20 and 50. Recent data suggest that major depressive disorder may also be increasing among people younger than 20 years of age. This may be related to the increased use of alcohol and drugs in this age group.

Is there a relationship between marital status and depression?

The major depressive disorder occurs most often in individuals who have divorced or separated or those without close interpersonal relationships.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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Welcome to the latest edition of “Discover Harmony,” the newsletter from Harmony United Psychiatric Care! In this edition, we bring you insights, updates, and valuable information to support your mental well-being journey.

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