Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
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Ask the expert
Concomitant disorders

Is there a link between hypoglycaemia and depression?

All I can really say is that most people who swear they’re hypoglycaemic are not. It’s one of those things that is easy to say whenever you start falling asleep: “Well, it’s because I just ate a big meal, I’m hypoglycaemic.” When people are actually tested with this glucose tolerance test, very few people are in fact hypoglycaemic. But, having said that, if we presume you are, then it will have an effect on your energy level and your energy level will have an effect on your mood, but it’s going to be more fluctuating rather than you being constantly depressed. If you eat small meals throughout the day, you should not see a fluctuation in your energy level if you are hypoglycaemic.
-Camillo Zacchia, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2009

Is there a connection between depression and sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing during the night. This can increase blood pressure. More importantly, it keeps the person from sleeping properly. He/she doesn't have normal dream sequences or a restful sleep. Although sleep apnea may not cause depression directly, it does cause exhaustion, which can lower a person's resistance to anxiety and depression. It also lessens a person's ability to concentrate—a common complaint in depression. Although distinguishing between depression and sleep apnea can be difficult, it is necessary to do so, since the two problems are treated differently. Of course some individuals can suffer from both sleep apnea and depression.

-Camillo Zacchia, Mini-Psych School 2006

Does severe nail biting have anything to do with symptoms of depression?

This symptom is possible in the case of co-morbid disorders. It is hard to say if this behaviour is a tic or a compulsion, e.g., a symptom of ADHD (an impulsivity disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), or depression. This behaviour is usually part of other problems, such as impulsivity disorders. We still need to consult with a neurologist to rule out any other condition, but this symptom could be part of depression.
-Johanne Renaud, MD, Mini-Psych School 2012

Can post-partum depression lead to psychosis?

Yes. Although it doesn’t happen very often, post-partum depression that is very severe can lead to psychosis.
- Ridha Joober, MD, PhD, Mini-Psych School 2012

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