Depression is a phrase that is much over-used, especially these days, to express general feelings of low mood or even mood swings. However, people who are actually experiencing true depression, the reality are much worse than just a hazy feeling of sadness. People going through depression are likely to experience intense feelings of misery and grief, along with a loss of interest in life and also a decrease in emotional wellbeing. In schizophrenia, depression usually occurs in older people with the condition and is sometimes experienced by people after their psychotic episode has ended. This is called a post-psychotic depression by psychiatrists.
In recent research, how often depression occurs in schizophrenia varies widely mainly because of the various research tools used to assess depressive symptoms. On the other hand, people with schizophrenia are more prone to suffer from depression than those in the general population and possibly by quite a considerable margin. In fact, some researchers maintain that the majority of people, approximately 75% with schizophrenia will experience at least one such episode of depression during their poor health, and about 20% of people living with schizophrenia are likely to suffer from depression. Depressive symptoms do not distinguish and are equally common in men as well as women, and there does not appear to be an association with previous life events. Some have projected that depression occurs very commonly in schizophrenia, that the two conditions may even share the same biological roots.
It was believed that people with schizophrenia who had depression had a better outcome overall. But as per the new research, it’s considered incorrect, as we now know that depression will increase the risk of suicide. It is known that in general, people with schizophrenia have a death rate about three times that of the general population, and experts in the US believe suicide is the primary factor responsible for the high death rate. However, other researchers do disagree as to which cause of death is more responsible, and some have found death by natural causes such as heart disease to be a more prominent cause.