Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions that affects people all over the world, and most people are quite familiar with the usual symptoms of prolonged sadness and a general sense of malaise. While mental health advocates are doing a great job of helping to educate people about how to spot these common symptoms, there is still much more that the average person can learn about depression and the body. Once you realize just how many aspects of your life depression can affect, making the decision to seek treatment takes on greater importance.
Depression is generally recognized as a mental health condition that causes feelings of sadness, a low mood and energy levels for two weeks or longer. Most people will occasionally feel sad for a brief time after they experience disappointment or hardship, but depression becomes a more likely possibility if those negative feelings continue for a long period of time.
Depression can also occur in the absence of a clearly defined negative life event. Some people develop the condition for reasons that usually involve chemical changes in the brain. There are also different types of depression, and each type can have a profound effect on your body.
The effects of depression typically begin in your brain, but you can also notice them in other parts of your body. As depression impacts your central nervous system, you might notice changes in how your muscles feel and move. Many people with depression find that simply walking around feels like it takes more energy than normal.
People also tend to experience issues with their digestive system, and you might experience changes in your cardiovascular system as well. Virtually, every part of your body is capable of experiencing the physical effects of depression.
Fatigue, headaches and sleep disruptions are just a few common depression side effects that you might experience. The same chemical changes in the brain that make you feel sad can also cause your energy levels to drop. If you add on a lack of sleep from insomnia, then you may feel severe fatigue that is similar to what you might have with the flu or other physical ailments.
A depression diagnosis might also provide some insight into why you are dealing with digestive changes. Some people experience a lack of appetite with depression, and this could alter how and when you eat. If you don’t get proper nutrition, then you might experience a lowered immune system along with the symptoms of malnutrition. On the flip side, overeating or consuming too many fatty or sugary comfort foods could cause you to experience abdominal pain, gas or diarrhea.
Feeling more physical discomfort in general is absolutely possible with depression. As your body systems fall out of their normal rhythms, you could notice that those aches and pains are more noticeable. If you sit or lie down for long periods of time, then your joints can also get stiff. Headaches and stomach pain are also normal responses to alterations in your normal body rhythms.
When you’re wondering what depression can cause, you might be hoping to find out if it is contributing to lifestyle habits that also affect your body. Most of the symptoms of depression will gradually subside with treatment, but there are some lingering effects that you might need to think about.
Over time, disruptions in your body’s central nervous system can cause your body to function differently than it did in the past. Using unhealthy habits to address your depression symptoms further exacerbates this process. For instance, smoking or using alcohol to feel better temporarily can have longer term effects on your cardiovascular, digestive and central nervous systems.
Depression in the body doesn’t have to rob you of your ability to enjoy your favorite activities. One of the first things you can do is stop engaging in unhealthy habits that increase your physical discomfort. Getting help with over consuming alcohol or using drugs can stop dreaded hangovers that only make you feel worse. Reaching out for help with finding an appropriate depression treatment also helps you to begin to ease both your physical and emotional pain.
Recovering from depression often feels like slowly waking up again after a long and disruptive slumber. With proper treatment, you should find that the effects of depression on your body slowly begin to fade away. If a physical symptom lingers, then it may be necessary to explore why. However, most people find that taking medications, using talk therapy and improving their nutrition works well for stopping the devastating effects that depression has on their wellbeing.
Mental health conditions often present with physical symptoms that further demonstrate the connections that exist between your mind and body. This is why Mind Body Wellness focuses on providing integrated healthcare that sets you on the right path for improving how you feel overall. From treating depression using brain stimulation methods to giving you an emotional outlet through talk therapy, you’ll find that our multi-pronged approach helps to bring your body and mind into greater harmony.