How Depression Affects Your Physical Health

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Your Physical Health

Depression is becoming an increasingly serious problem in society. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 5% of adults worldwide live with depression. That means that, on average, one in every twenty people you know lives with this mental illness.  This can be a serious problem as depression is not something that just stays inside your head. As with any mental illness or disorder, depression can affect all areas of a person’s well-being, including their physical health. Though many people don’t realize it, depression is linked to some of the most serious health conditions that plague society and also in Your Physical Health.  visit here

This article aims to explain just how intertwined depression is with physical health. You will learn about some physical symptoms of depression as well as the serious illnesses and diseases that are linked to this mental illness. 

Insomnia

People living with depression often have trouble sleeping. This can include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, getting sleep that is restful, or sleeping too much. In fact, mental illnesses such as depression are considered one of the most common causes of insomnia and other sleep-related issues. 

The link between depression and insomnia goes both ways. Depression may cause insomnia, but the lack of sleep may worsen depression. Therefore, either alleviating the depression or finding an insomnia treatment may help both issues. 

Weight Fluctuations

Depression can affect appetite in a myriad of ways. Some people eat more to comfort themselves, while others have almost no appetite. Some people report a mix of both. Nevertheless, people living with depression report some sort of weight fluctuation that may be unhealthy for their bodies. 

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As with insomnia, this relationship can go both ways. Dissatisfaction with one’s body may contribute to depression or other mental illnesses. 

Increased Pain Sensitivity

People with depression often report random and unexplained aches and pains throughout their bodies or may experience pain all over. This pain can be temporary but some report it as chronic. 

Furthermore, some studies show that those who live with depression often have a lower tolerance for pain

It is not clear why people with depression experience more pain than those who don’t. Some researchers believe that the issue lies with the dysregulation of serotonin or increased inflammation in the body. Nevertheless, depression is often a painful condition, both mentally and physically. 

Weakened Immune System

Those who have depression may be more susceptible to diseases and viruses. This may be due to the fact that depression is linked to high inflammation and may actively weaken the immune system

This is not something anyone wants to live with, especially during a pandemic. Even a common cold can have serious side effects and complications in those with weakened or compromised immune systems. Therefore, it is critical to understand that having depression can make it much harder to recover from common viruses and can hurt the system that actively fights them off. 

Increased Risk for Heart Disease

People with depression often have little motivation to keep up a healthy lifestyle. This means they are often sedentary and eat unhealthy food. This combination often leads to heart problems which may result in heart disease

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In fact, since so many studies have found a link between depression and heart disease, depression is sometimes considered a pre-heart attack symptom

High Blood Pressure

Those who live with depression are often under more stress than those who do not live with a mental health condition. Chronic stress is not only believed to increase inflammation but also high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to more serious complications such as dementia, heart failure, and aneurysms.

Other Conditions

In addition to the list above, there are many other medical conditions that have been linked with depression. Some of the medical conditions that coexist with this mental illness include: 

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis

Though very little evidence shows that depression causes these issues, it is important to note that patients who have these conditions are very likely to also live with depression. The relationship between these diseases and depression is not always clear, but it is still important to know that there is a connection. 

What To Do If You Believe You Have Depression

If you believe you have depression, then you should talk to a counselor or other psychological/medical professional. They will work with you to find the causes of your depression and suggest treatment options. In some cases, they may prescribe medication. 

You may also want to talk with your primary care doctor. Frequent checkups can help prevent major diseases and chronic conditions. Based on your results, your doctor can discuss ways to improve your overall health to avoid more health problems. 

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