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Are people with life-threatening illnesses more likely to be depressed?

ANSWER

People facing a serious illness are more likely than healthy folks to have depression or anxiety. One study of terminally ill cancer patients, for example, found that at least 17% were clinically depressed. Other research points to even higher numbers of people with terminal illness meeting the criteria for major depression.

SOURCES:

Marsha Gallagher, LCSW, social worker, Capital Caring, Falls Church, Va.

Tiernan, E. , 2002. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Lan, L.K. , 2002. Palliative Medicine

Bakitas, M. , Aug. 19, 2009. Journal of the American Medical Association

Rosenstein, D. , 2011. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience

Dobkin, R.D. , published online June 15, 2011. American Journal of Psychiatry

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on August 17, 2017

SOURCES:

Marsha Gallagher, LCSW, social worker, Capital Caring, Falls Church, Va.

Tiernan, E. , 2002. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Lan, L.K. , 2002. Palliative Medicine

Bakitas, M. , Aug. 19, 2009. Journal of the American Medical Association

Rosenstein, D. , 2011. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience

Dobkin, R.D. , published online June 15, 2011. American Journal of Psychiatry

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on August 17, 2017

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What is true clinical depression due to a life-threatening illness?

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