Does Depression Cause Schizophrenia?

Mental illnesses like schizophrenia are not something to be taken lightly, as it takes a toll on how one thinks, feels, and ultimately reacts. Although this disorder may not be as common, it significantly impairs judgment and functioning. There are many theories on this issue and whether or not there is a precursor behind it, and we are here to clarify one such link. Does depression cause schizophrenia?

The Link Between Schizophrenia and Depression

Depressive symptoms are frequent in such patients, but depression itself does not cause schizophrenia. Having such episodes is high; however, both conditions, depression and schizophrenia, are different and need separate treatment actions.

Around 25% of the population with schizophrenia also experience symptoms of depression, and these symptoms can be present in all stages of the condition. The occurrence of major depressive disorder is about 7%; however, that changes based on age and gender.

Here’s an example- individuals from ages 18 to 29 are thrice more likely to experience this issue than those who are 60 or older. Moreover, women have 1.5 to 3 times more chances of experiencing depression as compared to men.

MDD or Major depressive disorder may occur at any age, while its peak onset is seen in the 20s. The main aspect of this condition is defined by the duration, which is at least 2 weeks. During this time, a noticeable shift in functioning is seen by either a loss of interest or a consistently sad mood. This deviation is followed by:

  • An overall depressed mood most parts of the day.
  • Least to no interest at all in activities going around.

Note: at least 1 of these two signs must be there in an individual to make this diagnosis. Other than that:

  • Major weight loss/gain or sudden appetite change.
  • Sleep disturbances like episodes of insomnia (no sleep) or hypersomnia (oversleep).
  • Restlessness
  • Retardation
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of energy
  • Constant guilt
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Concentration issues
  • Inability to make a decision
  • Recurrent suicidal thoughts

Management Strategies for Schizophrenia Patients with Depression

Here is a list of some coping mechanisms for those with schizophrenia and depression to manage their symptoms and live everyday life in peace. A few tips include:

  • Taking Medications Regularly: Follow the prescribed medication regime to make sure that symptoms are taken care of.
  • Support from Mental Health Groups: It is essential and most beneficial to engage with schizophrenia support groups to seek their support.
  • Engaging in Self-Care: Involving in self-care techniques like deep breathing exercises and maintaining a sleep routine can help individuals cope with various challenges that present with schizophrenia and depression.
  • Seek Solace in a Support System: Having a support system of trusted family and friends, a healthcare team, and mental health professionals can provide valuable support.

The Role of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials can help patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression by opening ways to new treatments and therapies that can serve more effectively than current ones. Another advantage is your valuable contribution to scientific knowledge and helping future patients. Not only do you help yourself but others, too.

Questions About Does Depression Cause Schizophrenia?

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Closing Note

In a nutshell, those with schizophrenia and depression must make use of coping techniques and other medical treatments to benefit themselves. You can trust our healthcare professional, Dr. Salma Saiger, MD, our Principal Investigator at SMS Clinical Research, to guide you with newer treatments in the phase of clinical trials that can be advantageous to you. Your participation can make a huge difference, so reach out to us at (972) 216-5100.