What Will It Take to Make Depression a “Good Cause”?

Therese J. Borchard

2305701220_0fc3d01183_bOnce a year or so I’m tempted to shave my head like I’m going through chemo to make my depression visible to others. I’m thinking if I pulled a Sinead O’Connor, people would take the illness seriously.

I saw a commercial the other day for some leukemia association, and I was jealous.

I know that’s not the response the advertising team was looking for. But, as someone who is now responsible for fundraising for a foundation for treatment-resistant depression and chronic mood disorders, I thought about how much easier my job would be if the people for whom I’m raising the money actually looked sick.

I have no problem getting dough for Catholic Relief Service’s Operation Rice Bowl that feeds poor kids in Africa. The paper carton which you load with dollars and cents dons the photo of a beautiful African child with the message: “$1 a day for 40…

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10 Diseases That Make Depression Feel Worse

Therese J. Borchard

15_patient_doctor_with_smiling_patientConsider these statistics:

  • Nearly 50 percent of asthma patients suffer from symptoms of depression.
  • At least 40 percent of persons with Parkinson’s disease experience depression, and anxiety is often reported.
  • Forty to 65 percent of patients who have had a heart attack suffer from depression.
  • The lifetime risk for depression in patients with multiple sclerosis is 40 to 60 percent.
  • Nearly 30 percent of stroke patients develop depression.

A 2009 study published in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics confirms that “when pain is severe, impairs function, and/or is refractory to treatment, it is associated with more depressive symptoms and worse depression outcomes. Similarly, depression in patients with pain is associated with more complaints and greater functional impairment.” The study goes on to explain that there is growing evidence that “depression and pain share genetic factors, biological pathways and neurotransmitters. Thus, the most promising area of future research is elucidating the…

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