Do depression and anxiety lead to chronic physical disease, or does having a chronic disease lead to depression and anxiety?
It could be either or both, according to Sara Jordan: “It’s chicken and egg.”
Jordan, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Calgary Region, says that if someone is dealing with situational or chronic depression, they might be less motivated to exercise, eat well, and socialize, and perhaps more likely to smoke or abuse substances, which would ultimately have negative physical impacts. Similarly, if someone has a chronic illness, like type 2 diabetes, they might become depressed and lose the ability to take steps to improve their health. A vicious cycle ensues.