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How Depression Can Affect Your Physical Health

How Depression Can Affect Your Physical Health

Though depression is a mental illness, its effects can reach far beyond emotional and mental health. Depression is a complex mental health disorder that can significantly impair daily life. Depression symptoms can manifest themselves temporarily if the depression is situational. However, if the symptoms last longer than a few weeks, it could be a sign of a depressive disorder. Persistent sad feelings and hopelessness could be a sign of depression. The same symptoms may also be a sign of bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Signs of Depression

There are many signs of depression—the most obvious one being a depressive or sad mood. Other symptoms include:

  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Fatigue 
  • Disinterested in former hobbies 
  • Unintentional and excessive weight loss or gain 
  • Sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping 
  • A loss of motivation 

Physical Manifestations of Depression

Depression doesn’t just impact you mentally and emotionally—it can also affect your physical health. If you’ve noticed symptoms of depression, look for the possible physical ramifications. 

  • Insomnia—depression can lead to trouble sleeping and staying asleep. It can also lead to oversleeping. Both insomnia and oversleeping will lead to fatigue throughout the day. Insomnia can also lead to headaches. 
  • Chronic shoulder pain—poor posture often accompanies depression. Chronic shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches are common. Pain can also manifest in other places, resulting in unexplained aches and pains. 
  • Increased risk of heart disease—because depression decreases motivation to do anything, including exercise. Depression often leads to a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet, leaving you at a higher risk for heart diseases. 
  • Weight loss or gain—depression often leads to a change in appetite, which leads to weight loss or weight gain. Excessive weight gain can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Extreme weight loss can also cause heart problems, lead to infertility, and cause fatigue. 
  • Libido—depressed people often have trouble becoming aroused and struggle with sexual activities. 
  • Inflammation—depression, and stress have proven to be linked to inflammation and other immune system issues. Inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders are common in those with depression. According to medicalnewstoday.com, research has linked depression and inflammation but is uncertain which one leads to the other. 

Physical effects of depression are a double-edged sword because they can often lead to more depression—creating a downward spiral. The good news is that depression is treatable. If you’re exhibiting signs of depression, see a doctor. They may recommend therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes that can help. 

Depression is often tied to addiction. If this is the case for you, you can find hope and healing at the Ardu Recovery Center. We use multiple therapies that personalized to your situation to ensure that your pathway to recovery is successful. There is hope ahead! Contact us today to start down your road to recovery.

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