Does depression lead to schizophrenia?

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    Genetic predisposition, as well as the presence of provocative factors play an important role in the process of occurrence of a mental disorder. In this regard, depression and schizophrenia are no exception.

    Modern medicine does not give a definite answer to the question about the causes of these diseases. The main version is a violation of the functionality of special neurotransmitters (depression) and the limbic system of the brain (schizophrenia).

    Clinical depression can occur in two forms: unipolar and bipolar. The first form is characterized by deep bouts of despair, depression and lack of interest in life. The second form can be represented as a pendulum: the patient’s mood changes dramatically from depressive inaction to manic arousal.

    It is bipolar depression accompanied by auditory and visual hallucinations, all sorts of mania. This fact gives grounds to assert that depression and schizophrenia have similar psychotic symptoms and causes of development.

    The main sign of schizophrenia is a mismatch of sensory perception of the world and the thought process. In the actions of patients there is a lack of logic and common sense. Patients with schizophrenia often become obsessed with absurd ideas that seem to them rational and only true. Another characteristic symptom of schizophrenia is hallucinations.

    The only way that depression could lead to schizophrenia is if you have the predisposition for schizophrenia already…but the depressive disorder itself, does not “cause” schizophrenia. It is a different illness, with different origins, genetics, and biology.

    However, if left untreated, Major Depressive Disorder usually (not always) gets worse.

    By that, I mean that depressive episodes tend to get more intense and last longer if not addressed. In severe depression, individuals can experience psychosis…but unlike schizophrenia, this usually clears when the depressive episode lifts.

    I hope this answers your question.

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    Not at all. They are two different diseases. It’s confusing because many times a person can suffer with both.

    Schizophrenia is very much biologically based and has a strong genetic component. It usually appears in the late teens or 20’s. The first symptoms to appear are not very clear, so they can sometimes be interpreted as depression at first.

    There are also forms of depression that include symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. Without a proper diagnosis, some people may be treated for the wrong illness until they are evaluated more effectively.

    But in the end, depression does not ever cause, or “lead to,” schizophrenia.

    According to me yes, a person diagnosed with severe depression can lead to schizophrenia if not treated properly. Depression can be triggered by other mental illnesses, but it can also lead to certain mental illnesses. These include anxiety disorders , schizophrenia, eating disorders and substance abuse.

    In schizophrenia depression often 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

    Depression was observed as a feature of schizophrenia by Emil Kraepelin when he first described the condition of schizophrenia in the 19th century and has been confirmed by observation and research since

    I’m not a psychologist but from what I’ve read it’s more likely to be the other way around: those with schizophrenia are likely to develop depression.

    I’ve also read that those with bipolar disorder can sometimes experience psychosis during manic episodes, but psychosis alone is not the same thing as schizophrenia (or to be more accurate, the schizophrenias, as there are different types.)

    If you or someone you know is experiencing severe depression or psychosis or both, please see a psychologist for a valid, professional diagnosis and a treatment plan; there are therapies that have a good success rate treating mood disorders and managing schizophrenia. There is no need to suffer in silence when help is available.

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    In pure depression now linked to hibernation in lower animals the brain is shutting down for winter so the anxiety based thought that often leads to a loss of reality is not likely, most human depression is triggered by and mixed with anxiety so it would likely be the anxiety based negative/harmful thought and loss of reality that could lead to schizophrenia. My GAD when really bad could have easily led to more serious mental illness and loss or reality, I was very lucky I reduced my anxiety the related depression quickly went and more work with EGMi has reduce my anxiety to pre-childhood levels most of the time.

    Though they can occur in the same individual I doubt that one LEADS to the other. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain and its chemistry, I believe, and is not “caused” by anything we can clearly identify at present. Depression is a dysfunction of mood, not of the brain, and can be caused by any number of things going on in a person’s life. If you have concerns about these two things – or suspect you may have either of them, talk to a therapist and get a REAL professional opinion, not just my ramblings on Quora.

    Thanks for asking, Yacenia.

    From personal experience, depression does not lead to schizophrenia, especially if the only diagnosis is clinical (or unipolar) depression.

    If, however, one suffers from bipolar disorder, at the manic end of the spectrum when the sufferer stays awake for very long periods (my personal best has been over 86 hours with no naps) hallucinations such as those found in schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can manifest, leading to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    I hope this clarifies things for you.


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    Answer requested by

    Depression does not “lead to” Schizophrenia in the sense that it doesn’t cause it.

    However depression can be one of the many symptoms experienced by people who have Schizophrenia.

    Schizophrenia is a chronic, progressive, organic neuro-chemical brain disease that is believed to have a strong causal basis in genetics.

    Depression is an important symptom that can be connected to a number of illnesses. It can have mental or physical illnesses as it’s cause.

    Anyone experiencing unexplained, intense or protracted symptoms of depression should see their doctor for advice.

    Yes and No. Yes, some people are first diagnosed with depression, then later with schizophrenia, so one could say that depression sometimes leads to schizophrenia. But the depression DID NOT cause the schizophrenia. The person could have had depression independent of schizophrenia. Many people who have schizophrenia also have depressed mood. But having depressed mood DOES NOT mean that you will soon (or later) develop the symptoms of schizophrenia.


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    There is a diagnosis called major depression with psychotic features. Many people believe psychosis is the same as schizophrenia but it is not. If a person has some other risk factors and had enough episodes of depression or if the depression was recurrent then it might be possible. No it does not necessarily lead to schizophrenia.

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