Comorbidity in Physical and Mental Health
There is a close and bidirectional relationship between physical and mental health (Prince et al., 2007), which often co-occur together (comorbidity). People who have a long-term physical health problem have a greater risk of developing mental health conditions; and similarly those who have mental health conditions have a higher risk of a range of physical illnesses (Moussavi et al., 2007). Both physical and mental ill health occur on a spectrum (The Strategy Unit, 2018). People may face a mixture of psychological and physical symptoms without necessarily having a diagnosis of co-morbidity.
Figure 85: A model showing examples of how physical and mental ill health can interact. Source: NHS Improvement
This sub-section will explore:
- the links between physical health and common mental health conditions
- the physical health of people with severe mental illnesses (SMI)
It is closely linked to the previous sub-section on Smoking and Health Behaviours.
Full list of references is included at the end of this chapter.