University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Blue To You
KY Women's Health Registry

Commonly Associated Illnesses

Depression often exists along with other illnesses.

The initial diagnosis of a chronic illness for some individuals is often shocking and negatively impacts self-esteem, relationships, productivity, independence and outlook on life. Persistence of these feelings can lead to depression—feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness.

It is a fact that nearly one-third of the individuals diagnosed with a serious medical condition develop signs and symptoms of depression. Depression is considered one of the most common complications of a chronic illness because it increases pain, fatigue, immobility and causes people to withdraw into social isolation.

Examples of chronic illnesses often associated with depression include Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, lupus, arthritis, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety disorders, and alcohol or substance abuse.

The risk of depression increases with the severity of the illness. The following demonstrates the rate of depression with certain illnesses:

  • Cancer – 25 percent
  • Diabetes – 25 percent
  • Multiple sclerosis – 40 percent
  • Parkinson’s disease – 40 percent
  • Heart attack – 40 to 65 percent

Symptoms of depression and the treatment options of those with a chronic illness are the same as symptoms and treatment in healthy individuals.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.