How Untreated Depression Can Harm Your Physical Health

Depression affects about 17.3 million American adults. It’s even fairly common in children, affecting 1.9 million youths between the ages of 3 and 17. These days, and with much of the stigma removed, we know more about how depression can manifest and affect a person in physical ways as well as emotional ones.

At 2nd Chance Treatment Center, we’re well experienced in treating and preventing depression, addiction, and other mental illnesses, giving you the best chance of achieving lasting recovery. Because we like to take a holistic approach to treatment, we’ve compiled this helpful resource on how depression can influence your physical health.

What is depression?

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a medical condition that causes extreme feelings of sadness and hopelessness. If you have depression, you may notice a loss of interest in activities that you were previously interested in. 

While it’s common to feel down for a period of time following a loss or tragic life event, depression that lasts for longer than two weeks is a sign of major depressive disorder. Some signs of depression include:

If you experience these symptoms, seek professional evaluation and treatment. Effective plans are available to help you manage depression so you feel more like yourself again. 

The physical effects of depression

Depression’s physical effects on the human body are well-documented by research. Depression can be so debilitating as to influence every part of your body. Here are some of the ways that depression can hurt you physically.

Shifts in weight

Depression can lead to loss of appetite and nausea, which can cause you to lose weight. Depression can also lead to an increased appetite and weight gain. Being underweight or overweight contributes to serious health risks such as heart problems, infertility, diabetes, and fatigue. 

Chronic pain

Depression can cause unexplained aches and pains, increased tenderness, and problems with your joints and muscles. Those who suffer from chronic pain may also notice that their depression worsens. 

Sexual health issues

A decreased libido, trouble with arousal, and difficulty orgasming have been attributed to depression.

Insomnia

People with depression tend to have trouble either getting to sleep or staying asleep through the night. Sleep deprivation is quite serious as it can lead to diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, high blood pressure, and other chronic health issues.

Gastrointestinal distress

Those with depression often report having issues with their stomach and digestion. This can manifest into diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, constipation, and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

If you or a loved one are experiencing depression, get help today. At 2nd Chance Treatment Center, getting you well and back into your life again is our greatest priority. Call us or request an appointment right on our website today.

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