For people who suffer from depression or anxiety, being diagnosed with a physical health condition on top of a mental health issue can feel like the worst kind of bad luck. But recent research suggests that this type of dual diagnosis is more than just an unfortunate coincidence. Scientists are learning that seemingly unrelated psychological and physical issues may actually be closely connected.
Doctors once thought that the link between mental and physical health problems was purely behavioral. Depressed people are less likely to take their medications or practice healthy habits, for instance, so they get sicker.