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What Are Common Comorbid Conditions of Depression?

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Sometimes depression doesn’t show up alone. There are conditions that frequently come with it. You may have multiple mental health concerns at once or a physical condition occurring at the same time as your depression. These are known as comorbid conditions. 

You may be wondering what exactly a comorbid condition is and how it works. Read on to find out.

What is a comorbid condition?

Comorbidity is a term you may have heard a medical professional use. It may not be a part of your everyday vernacular! Essentially, a comorbid condition is when there are two or more disorders present in your body at once. For example, you may have both arthritis and heart disease, making these two conditions comorbidities. These conditions may or may not interact with each other.

Not all the following must be present if you have depression, but they may go hand in hand. To learn more about the tie between depression and its comorbid conditions, keep reading.


There is a vicious cycle when it comes to anxiety and depression. There are distinct ties between the two mental health disorders. Oftentimes, you cannot experience one without the other, and it is very common to experience both at the same time. 

Sometimes, your anxiety will trigger a depressive episode. Additionally, your depression may cause you to develop anxiety. These two can build upon each other until you can not remember which came first. Seeking treatment for anxiety and depression is relatively similar, and a mental health professional should be able to assist you easily. 

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Substance abuse 

If you have lived with untreated depression for some time, you may turn to illicit substances, like drugs and alcohol, to self-medicate. Most of the time, this is the start of an unhealthy relationship with these substances. 

Once you begin to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb your feelings, it is hard to stop. The substances may numb the pain for a while, but after time, you will need more and more to give the same effect. After it gets to this level of abuse, it will only worsen your depression.

Abuse of substances and addiction are very serious. If you or someone you love is in trouble, please seek help from a professional. 

Eating disorders

Eating disorders are another common example of a comorbid condition. The root of an eating disorder is about control. If you have developed a condition like anorexia, binge eating, or bulimia, feeling a lack of control might trigger a depressive episode. 

On top of this, you may become depressed because of what is happening to your body. After an especially restrictive day or intense cycle of binging, you may feel depressed because of what you have done. Again, an eating disorder is very serious, and if you or someone you love lives with this, please seek professional help. 

Physical illnesses

Not all comorbidities of depression are mental conditions. There are some physical illnesses that accompany depression as well. For example, those diagnosed with a terminal illness like cancer or a neurological disorder may develop depression due to their circumstances. 

Depression can be caused by non-terminal illnesses as well. If you have arthritis, you may be restricted from enjoying the things you love, which could cause depression. From here, the cycle begins again, and you cannot remember if your illness caused your depression or vice versa. 

If you are living with depression or any other mental health roadblock, seeking professional help may be a great option for you. There is no shame in wanting or needing a hand. Reach out today to schedule an appointment for depression therapy.

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Green Heart Therapy provides in-person psychotherapy for adults, teens, and children in Los Angeles and online therapy across California.