Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting approximately 26 percent of adults. Technically, depression is a mental disorder, but it also affects your physical health and well-being. Learn about some of the most common symptoms of depression and how depression can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.
Feeling sad or anxious is sometimes a normal part of life, but if these feelings last more than two weeks, they could be symptoms of depression. It is estimated that 17 million adults suffer from depression each year. However, clinical depression, especially if left untreated, can disrupt your daily life and cause a domino effect of additional symptoms.
Depression affects how you feel and can also cause changes in your body. Major depression (a more advanced form of depression) is considered a serious condition that can dramatically affect your quality of life.
Central Nervous System
Depression can cause many central nervous system symptoms, many of which are easily dismissed or ignored.
Old people may also have trouble recognizing cognitive changes, as it’s easy to dismiss signs of depression related to “aging.” According to the American Psychological Association, older adults with depression have greater difficulties with memory loss and reaction time in daily activities compared to younger adults with depression.
Some symptoms of depression are overwhelming sadness, guilt and grief. It can be described as a feeling of emptiness or hopelessness. Some people may find it difficult to share these feelings. Symptoms can manifest and cause physical reactions. Frequent bouts of crying can be a symptom of depression, although not all depressed people cry.
You may also feel tired all the time or sleep poorly at night. Other symptoms include: irritability, anger, and loss of interest in sex. Depression can cause chronic body aches, headaches, and pains that may not respond to medication. Sometimes it is also a consequence of certain neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.
People with depression may have trouble sticking to a normal work schedule or meeting social obligations. This can be due to symptoms such as poor concentration, memory problems, and difficulty making decisions. Some depressed people may turn to alcohol or drugs, which can increase reckless or abusive behavior. Someone with depression may deliberately avoid talking about it or try to hide the problem. People with depression may also be preoccupied with thoughts of death or self-harm. While the risk of suicide is 25-fold increased even during the recovery process, studies report that treating depression is effective 60 to 80 percent of the time.
Symptoms in Children
Depression can be more difficult to recognize in children who cannot articulate their symptoms. Behaviors to look out for include persistent clinging, worrying, and an unwillingness to attend school without showing improvement over time. Children can also be overly irritable and upset.
While depression is often thought of as a mental illness, it also plays an important role in appetite and nutrition. Some people can handle overeating or binge eating. This can lead to weight gain and obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, you can even lose your appetite or not eat the right amount of nutritious food. A sudden loss of interest in eating can lead to a condition called geriatric anorexia. Eating problems can cause symptoms such as:
- Stomach pain
These symptoms may not improve with medication if a person does not eat properly. Sweets and high-carb foods can provide immediate relief, but the effects are often temporary.
Eating a healthy diet is important when you are depressed. Nutrients are essential to ensure the body’s neurotransmitters are functioning properly. According to a study, the most common are vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- B vitamins
- Amino acids
Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
Stress hormones make your heart beat faster and constrict your blood vessels, putting your body in a prolonged state of emergency. With time, this can cause heart diseases. If left untreated, depression increases the risk of dying after a heart attack. Heart disease is also a cause for depression.
The recurrence of cardiovascular problems is more associated with depression than with other conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Studies show that 35 to 47 percent of people with depression have problems with their sex life, 61 percent of people with major depression have sexual problems, and up to 40 percent of people who take common antidepressants report a decrease in sexual satisfaction. In fact, one study found that 82 percent of men with erectile dysfunction also reported symptoms of depression. Erectile dysfunction medications like Cenforce, Fildena and Vidalista may not be very helpful in these cases as you need to be sexually aroused for them to work.
Sometimes, after knowing how to manage your mental health issue, you may have symptoms of erectile dysfunction issues. Due to side effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication you may have ED problems and sometimes changing medicines for mental health may not be the best option. In that case there are many medications are available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction like Cenforce 200, Vidalista 60 and more.
Depression and stress can have a negative impact. Effects on the immune system, making it more susceptible to infection and disease. A review analyzed studies and found that there appeared to be a link between inflammation and depression, although the exact link is unclear. Inflammation is linked to many health issues such as stress. Some anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to benefit some people with depression.