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The Link Between Depression and Other Mental Illnesses

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What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is a psychological condition that causes an overwhelming fear of situations that require interacting with another person or performing in front of others. Unlike being shy around strangers or nervous before a performance, social anxiety is a fear that you might humiliate yourself with your actions or speech in public.

Social phobia is common. It affects more than 15 million people in any given year. It often begins in childhood and rarely develops after age 25.

People with social phobia are often aware that their fears are irrational, but they are unable to ease or erase these fears.

The symptoms of social phobia are much the same as symptoms for other anxiety disorders. They include:

  • Difficulty talking
  • Dry mouth
  • Intense sweating
  • Nausea
  • Racing heart
  • Trembling or shaking

Like with other anxiety illnesses, symptoms can be tolerable or so severe that they become socially debilitating.

Does Depression Co-Exist With Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a type of major psychotic illness that is usually marked by an inability to distinguish the real from the imaginary, confused or jumbled thoughts, and hallucinations. Feelings of emptiness and sadness may be a symptom of the disorder, but schizophrenia and depression are different on a neurobiological level. About half of people with schizophrenia may develop a major depressive episode at some point in their lives, but depression is not considered an enduring or hallmark feature of schizophrenia.

 

Is There a Link Between Depression and Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders frequently occur with depression and anxiety disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are marked by extremes. They occur when someone severely reduces food intake or overeats to the extreme. Treatment may include antidepressants.

The two most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders are most common among teenage girls and women. These disorders often get worse the longer they go untreated. The lack of nutrition associated with eating disorders can harm the body's organs and, in severe cases, lead to death.

People with anorexia purposefully starve themselves, despite their hunger. They tend to excel in sports, school, and work -- often seeking perfection. Some people with anorexia stop eating in order to gain a feeling of control over their lives. Others may do so to rebel against parents and other loved ones. The diagnosis of anorexia nervosa requires that a person weigh at least 15% less than his or her ideal body weight. It is estimated that up to 3.7% of females will suffer from anorexia at some time during their lives.

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