A common sentiment among patients with long-term conditions is that of guilt. Being a burden on family and friends, disrupting their plans, dragging them through the emotional roller-coaster of life with a LTC . . . the list is endless. Another equally common feeling is that of depression. I can stick my hand up and say that I have felt both!
New research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that guilt plays a role in depression. Using MRI, the researchers at University of Manchester showed linked activity in the two areas of the brain that deal with guilt and depression respectively. It was said that this could be a new way to predict depression risk - which is interesting.
The point I take from the finding is that guilt as an emotion is one which needs to be addressed in patients with LTC in an attempt to prevent the progression to depression.