How depression affects your health

by Onyinye Ogbuka

How depression affects your health.

Depression emanates from different situations and sources. It can be a result of job loss, heartbreak, or the loss of a loved one. It can be genetic and it might simply stem from unfulfillment. While depression can be mental, it can weigh in on your health and the daily activities that correlate with your health.

There are ten ways that depression affects your health.

  • Fatigue: Depression causes extreme fatigue and this makes the patient unable to move around. Their desire to stay in one place heightens and they are less enthusiastic about moving around and actively engaging with the atmosphere around them. Fatigue is not a one-time thing. It’s a constant company of depression and this becomes worse if it goes unchecked.
  • Overwhelming Sadness; One of the effects that depression has on your health is that you become sad. You become unhappy and this creates a low mood. At this point, one is unable to manage his or her emotions effectively. Depression makes one focus more on negative memories.
  • Weight gain or weight loss; Depression can make you lose interest in every activity including eating. This in turn can lead to you losing weight, quite drastically if it goes unchecked. At the same time, depression can make you gain weight, quite an unnecessary amount of weight. The rationale behind eating too much is that you see food as a pleasure ride that helps your escape from your dreadful reality and as soon as you finish eating you are back to your reality and you want to eat again. 
  • Lack of sleep or excess sleep; Depression makes you want to spend all day in bed sleeping and this leads to extreme fatigue. For some people, the reverse is the case because they end up not sleeping at all or just getting little sleep.  No matter how this sleeping pattern manifests itself, it often poses a further danger to the mental health of the patient and their activities.
  • Increased risky behaviors; Depression makes you undertake risky behaviors. Risky behaviors are activities that poses a danger to the health of the person who engages in them. It can be drugs, sex or alcoholism. These might people might have been doing this moderately but when depression sets in, they are capable of engaging in these activities more frequently.
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  • Chronic body ache; Depression is capable of causing chronic body ache that cannot be cured with medication. This includes headaches, joint aches and back pain.
  • Reduction in cognitive abilities: Depression can increase pattern separation impairment such that it affects the ability of whoever is experiencing it to differentiate similar situations distinctly. It like going out with your car and forgetting that you own a car and walking back home on your legs.
  • Weakened immune system: Depression sends out a hormone called cortisol which is like a stress signal to the heart. These stress hormones tighten the heart rate and if this is maintained over time it can cause cardiovascular disease.

People going through depression must get therapy as it’s better to be treated than not all.

Can depression give you health problems?

Depression can give you health problems such as heart disease, chronic headaches, eating disorders etc. Getting therapy will help you overcome your depression faster. Some of the health problems that stem from depression are not responsive to medication.

What are the five effects of depression?

  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain
  • Body aches
  • Memory loss
  • Weakened immune system.

What will happen if you don’t treat depression?

Untreated depression can progress into major or severe depression. It can lead to risky behaviours and will affect the relationship, career and lifestyle of the sufferer if depression is not treated.

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