Depression And Fatique: A Coexistence
Depression and fatigue reinforce each other in
a vicious cycle, according to European researchers.
In a yearlong study of
3,200 patients, chances of experiencing fatigue for depressed
patients went up four times, while the chances of depression
more than doubled for fatigued patients, says physician and public health expert.
The study appears in
the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.
Although doctors have long been aware of the
link between depression and unexplainable fatigue, no one is
certain which comes first.
To find the answer, expert looked at patient data from 14 countries as part of a
World Health Organization study on psychological problems in
general health care.
Fatigue and psychiatric disorder are not the
same. It is evident from the literature that
fatigue and depression have different risk factors. These two conditions could overlap. Fatigued persons might
feel psychologically distressed, while decreased energy is a
symptom of depression.
Levels of physical
activity could determine the correlation of fatigue and
depression. Physical activity is known to have a protective
effect on depression. It has also been
suggested that physical deconditioning might be an important
factor in the development of unexplained fatigue.
Since treatment for
both chronic fatigue and depression includes exercise, future
research might look as to whether physical activity could
explain the dynamics of the two conditions.