Unlike what most people think about depression, it’s not just a state of mind that you can pop in and out of. Depression is a serious mental illness that completely changes how you live your life on a daily basis. No matter what causes depression, whether that be some traumatic event or genetics, this is a mental condition that causes some serious negative effects on your life, makes brain smaller, and doesn’t just stop there. Depression has a lot of physical effects on your body, as well. And some of these affects you might not even connect together with depression until you have been officially diagnosed.
No matter what you think about depression, it’s a real condition. And if you think you are suffering from depression, then it’s important to seek help as soon as possible to get treatment for the condition. Keep reading down below, where we’re going to talk a bit about the physical conditions that you might be experiencing if you have depression.
1. Your Digestive System
Depression hampers your digestion! One of the biggest side-effects that come with clinical depression is the effect it has on your digestive system. Depression actually has a really big effect on your appetite and how hungry or not so hungry you feel. This varies from person to person. Some people deal with these depressive thoughts by overeating. This can lead to being overweight and even obesity, which both come with their own host of health problems like having an increased risk for a heart attack or the development of diabetes. Some people don’t eat much at all when they are depressed, which exposes you to the risks of malnutrition since you are not getting the right nutrients into your body.
Also, when you have eating problems, you are going to be putting your immune system at risk as well. Depression already takes a toll on the immune system (more on that down below), but when you are malnourished, then your body is not going to be able to fight off infections and other medical conditions. AS we’ll talk more about below, this causes a vicious cycle when you are caught between sickness and depression.
2. Your Central Nervous System
Along with the digestive system, one of the most profound effects that depression has on the body is on your central nervous system. Depression has really negative effects on how your body operates. Sometimes it’s difficult to classify the feelings that you may have as depression. For children, it’s difficult to diagnose because they have a hard time articulating how they feel and for adults, they may blame it on something else, like aging or that they are just feeling down. Nowadays, depression is also linked with cosmetic disorders such as facial paralysis.
In terms of the central nervous system, it can be difficult for people with depression to concentrate and to make decisions. That’s because the depressive chemicals in your brain actually block these common-day activities from taking place. When you are clinically depressed, you are going to have a hard time finding the mental energy to carry out your daily duties, to meet up with friends, or to fulfill any obligations.
You also might have trouble sleeping when you are clinically depressed. Many depressed patients note that they do not sleep as well or they may sleep way too much. Even if you do get enough sleep, you might still feel tired, no matter what you do. This all has to do with the chemicals going around in your brain that are attributing to your depressive state.
3. Your Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
Did you know that depression and stress are pretty closely related? When you are a deprsessed, your body is going to be pumping out more stress hormones than ever before. When this happens, your body goes into a state of emergency, basically. Your heart rate is going to speed up and your blood vessels are going to tighten. You might feel a sweat on your brow and feel a sense of paranoia. If this happens too much during a short period of time or a long period of time, you are putting your cardiovascular system at risk for developing heart disease. And as you know, that condition of the heart can be deadly.
It’s been shown that situation is worse for those people who are clinically depressed are much more likely to be hospitalized with chest pain and other conditions related to the heart than those people without depression. On the reverse of that, heart disease has even been shown to be a causal factor in the development of depression.
On top of that, when you are a depressed, your body’s immune system is going to be drastically weakened when trying to fight off infectious diseases. This means that you’re going to find yourself more sick than usual when you are depressed. You might even see that this cycle of sickness and depression causes you to be even more depressed, which is why it’s crucial to seek help for depression as soon as you can.
4. Aching Pains in Your Joints
And lastly, one of the other physical effects that you will most likely feel when you are clinically depressed is extra aching pains in your joints. Even if you have no idea where these pains are coming from or why they are happening, they could be a sign of depression. It’s difficult to say why this is the case as this is going to vary from person to person. However, if you feel that have extra aches for no reason at all and you have been feeling depressive thoughts, then it’s time to get checked out for clinical depression.
Depression is one of the most serious mental illnesses of our time. With more people reporting feeling depressed than ever, it’s crucial that you take the steps to understand depression and to fight it off with the correct treatments. You can also opt for therapies for healthy living. When you do this, you are going to be able to pull yourself out of the hole that you’re in and get on living out your life for the better.