The Health Effects of Mild Depression
Mild depression is no laughing matter. According to a study of more than 1,000 people with type 2 diabetes and mild depression, it’s linked to health complications. People with mild (or “subthreshold”) depression have symptoms of clinical (or “major”) depression but don’t meet all the criteria for such a diagnosis. Researchers studied the effect of mild depression by monitoring participants’ mood, health—including diabetes-related complications—and quality of life for five years. At the end of the study, participants who had multiple episodes of mild depression were more likely to have diabetes-specific complications, worse physical functioning, and lower quality of life than those without depression. And as the number of depressive episodes increased, the participants’ health and quality of life worsened. The study underscores the importance of getting help—for instance, by talking to a qualified mental health therapist—for mild or more severe depression.
Source: Diabetes Care, published online Nov. 6, 2013