Depression is a common mental health diagnosis, affecting about 26% of adults. Not only does depression effect your mental health, but also your physical wellbeing. While feeling sad or anxious at times is a part of everyday life, when these feelings continue daily for more than two weeks, it may be a sign that you are living with depression. Left untreated, it can interrupt your life and worsen over time. Keep reading to learn how depression effects different areas of your body.
Central Nervous System
Those who experience depression may feel tired or have trouble sleeping at night. Other symptoms include irritability, anger, and loss of interest in things. Depression also causes headaches, chronic body aches, inability to concentrate, loss of memory, and difficulty making decisions. People who live with depression can have trouble maintaining a work schedule or fulfilling social obligations.
Depression plays a large role in appetite and nutrition. Many people cope with their depression symptoms by overeating/bingeing, while others lose their appetite altogether. For those who binge eat, they put themselves at a higher risk for weight gain and type 2 diabetes, while those who lose their appetite can fail to get the right amount of nutrients. Issues with eating appropriately can lead to stomachaches, cramps, and constipation.
Depression and stress are very closely related. Stress hormones put your body in a prolonged state of emergency by speeding your heart rate and tightening your blood vessels. Recurring cardiovascular problems from depression are linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Depression can have a negative impact on your immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to infections and disease. Your immune system responds to danger with inflammation, which is a complicated process that helps our body fight perceived danger. If the inflammation continues for prolonged periods of time, it can cause damage to your body and brain. Those who live with depression trigger their body to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode frequently.
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person, call 911, your local emergency number, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
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