Depression on Physical Health



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Depression on Physical Health


Xiomara Ciudad Real

Union County College

Psychology 101

Professor Alexis Irene

April 20, 2021




The state of being in a persistent feeling of sorrow and a general feeling of lack of indifference mixed with apathy that can lead you to halt your everyday functioning is what is referred to as depression. Often at times, the psychological health disorder is characterized by a low mood. Physical symptoms of the disorder are far from uncommon among depressed individuals. These range from; back and joint pains, appetite adjustments, concentration problems, abnormal sleeping patterns, and gastrointestinal complications. It is a grave issue both to the person suffering from it and the wider society since it is a significant cause behind most attempted suicides.

Depression on Physical Health


  1. The primary aim is to identify the overall impact of depression on a person’s physical wellbeing.
  2. Establishing ways of managing depression
  3. Understanding how to support individuals with depression.

Keywords. Depression, anxiety, stress, disorder, physical health, managing antidepressants


Poor body condition might lead to an amplify one’s risk of developing psychological health concerns. Likewise, mental health difficulties can adversely impact one’s physical state, bringing about a raised risk of some accompanying conditions (Mental Health Foundation, 2018). A person can develop a type of depression due to trauma caused by shock or the anguish brought about by grief. They experience penetrating guilt or a generally gloomy mood if these feelings go beyond about two weeks. It can be an indicator of severe psychological disorder. This can signal numerous mental conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and manic depression. Due to difficulties in concentration, memory impairment, and lack of interest for an individual going through depression, he may be disengaged in daily activities such as work, family, and overall social responsibilities.

Literature Review

This mental health condition has deep and distinct implications on an individual’s general health. Its prolonged impact can protract beyond a person’s psychological and emotional wellbeing (How Anxiety & Depression Impacts Your Physical Health, 2019). Since it is comorbidity, the effect can be amplified if the individual has chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer.Poor living standards and functional impairments too can advance depression into adverse stages.

Besides, just like anxiety, depression is also fundamentally based on biological processes, and both share some of the symptoms outlined above. But unlike stress, the excessive worries that are part and parcel of depression (and anxiety) are long-term, persisting, and seemingly never waning away. Among the most prevalent kinds of general depression are:

  1. Major depression. This is a type of depression when one is at his lowest in terms of moods and might even be suicidal, thinking a lot about death or at least mostly in the state of bereavement. Interest in doing anything is almost none, and an individual entirely consumed in this.
  2. Persistent depressive disorder. Earlier, type of depression went by the name dysthymia) and it refers to an episode that persisted for a period of between two to three years. It gradually declines and fortunately never hit its most brutal blow, the full-blown faze.
  3. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic-depressive disease). Personalities with this kind of depression have their feelings and moods perpetually fluctuating. Sometimes their jumpy-happy and jovial, but then they experience subsequent episodes of lowness. These ups and downs keep going on so continually.
  4. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD. During the fall and wintertime, as the days get shorter, this kind of depression can occur with the general mood adjusts as a result of such factors like changes in light sensitivity of eyes, adjustments in the natural regular rhythms of the body, or maybe the way hormone-like such as melatonin and serotonin function.

About one in every ten males experience episodes of depression in men. Such individuals have a  high likelihood of losing themselves to alcoholism, anger management issues, have a dare-devil attitude towards life. They might shy away from social and family circumstances, might make for abusive partners in relationships, at times they’re obsessed about work and just can’t quit it as they keep going on and on,

In women, on the other hand, apart from these general forms of depression outlined, where the number of women affected almost doubling that of males, there is another set of two that are unique to females, namely,-

  1. Often abbreviated PMDD, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a psychological condition which is akin to premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Differing in severity it is more acute. It is characterized by mood, nervousness, and temper around about a week or two before the onset of the menstrual cycle. SRRI’s like Prozac and Zoloft are the most common treatment.
  2. Perinatal depression is a milder form usually treated by way of medication or consultation. Its episodes are either minor or major and usually affect the woman over the nine months of pregnancy or through the first year of giving birth. This disorder can have adverse effects on both the mother and her infant and, in that way, their families too.

Other symptoms of this particular type include fatigue, contemplating, or being stuck to a negative thought process and mood swings.

Among college kids, first-time encounters with certain cultures and different ways of living to be the cause of emergent depression may hinder their performances in terms of sleeping patterns, concentration, the avoidance of once fun or meaningful activities, and fluctuating appetite.

In teenagers, social pressure and visible physical changes may lead to the development of a few of the following signs and symptoms; challenges in focussing on schoolwork, guilt-trips and feelings of despair and worthlessness, withdrawal from family and friendships, and restlessness.

Symptoms can make schoolwork and social activities challenging. They may experience vocal outbursts, low energy, an attitude of defiance, crying, and being clingy. Unlike adults, it is more arduous for infants to express their affliction or discomfort through speech. Hence, they can never aptly explain themselves.


To retake one’s life back from the shackles of depression in an attempt to reclaim a happy mood, one might get stuck trying to decide what sort of treatment is most appropriate for his unique situation. This is because never was or is one sure cure for the various ways it manifests itself. Nevertheless, management of depression can be actualized in the following ways:

  • counseling and social support from your family or,
  • Individual self-help
  • Brain Stimulation Therapies incorporating electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Going for therapies one on one along with psychiatrist, and-

Psychotherapy is a collaborative method where psychoanalysts and the person going through depression join forces to ascertain peculiarities of solid strategies and means for managing depression (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). Cases are expected to put to practice acquired new skills to deal with their depression through circumstances that have them feeling uncomfortable

  • on a case-by-case basis outside of the therapy session. Consulting a therapist generally  involves: a
  • Face-to-face interactions after word of mouth recommendation or after an online audit of potential psychotherapists. These initial referrals can also come from family, close friends and relatives, and even your general practitioner.
  • National organizations that deal with psychological wellbeing might also be reliable in compiling a list of referrals of licensed doctors of reputable character in their perspective.
  • If the two methods don’t work out accordingly due to cost fears, religious organizations, senior centers locally available, and community-based psychiatric clinics can provide meaningful information. For an affordable price in such institutions, you may afford therapy session.

Practitioners  are skilled in diagnosing disorders related to depression and  in educating patients on healthier lifestyles, more actively effectual means of coping with both the condition and the situation.  A form of psychotherapy known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be recommended as treatment due to its effectiveness at addressing depressive disorders. Medical practitioners can prescribe anti-anxiety meds or happy pills for a person suffering from this disorder. These are also known as antidepressants.

Other treatment for depression that are complementary or  serve as Alternatives comprise of relaxation activities, such as yoga, conscious meditation, or wrestling, jogging et. cetera.,  acupuncture, and herbal and vitamin supplements.


First developed in the ’50s of the 2oth century, these are drugs designed to alleviate the effects of depression. They can also relieve major depressive disorders such as; dysthymic and mild-chronic depression, social phobia, and anxiety and affective disorders, among various other conditions (Nordqvist, 2018). These drugs can be sub-grouped into five main categories based on how they work. Also, they all have different side effects ranging from seizures, vomit, sexual dysfunction, headaches, nausea, weight loss, drowsiness, blurred vision, and irregular heartbeat, among many more. The five major categories are:

  1. Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  2. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  1. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and –
  2. Noradrenaline and specific serotoninergic antidepressants (NASSAs)

Nonetheless, due to the many side effects and other reasons, most physicians advocate for the alternative use of natural antidepressants. Such natural approaches may comprise exercise (including sex), engaging people socially, a lot of sunlight, and a good diet. These, along with complementary cognitive mechanisms, can collaborate to end a vicious depression cycle’s adversities.

Effect of Depression on Physical Health

When depression is the milder rather than the severe, its impact physically can increase, resulting to concrete manifestations, for example, light-headedness, abdominal pain, and a high resting pulsation. Despite insufficient study information to establish the root causes of researchers having identified hormonal irregularities, the chemistry of the nervous system,  alongside other hereditary determinants, is often involved (The Effects of Depression in Your Body, 2014). They also understand that depressive disorder going untreated poses a significant threat to the personal welfare of an affected individual and their physical health.

Listed below are a couple of the physical health predicaments linked to depression disorders:

Digestive disorders

Chronic depression is correlated with a syndrome known as IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) and an upset stomach (also called functional dyspepsia). This is due to the fact of depression having a direct implication on one’s nervous system, which in turn has a ripple effect immediate impact on an individual’s bowels.


Depression is often associated with restlessness and general body weakness. A person with the disorder never feels rested even when he has had a good night or day sleep. They almost always have trouble getting off the bed and struggle to perform daily activity demands like, for instance, taking a bath or handling household obligations. Even though being low on energy can be connected to poor sleeping patterns, scientific studies have indicated a more complex correlation between exhaustion and fatigue.

Heart Complications

            Studies have been consistent in showing the health hazards of failing to address depression and getting treatment accordingly, including heart complications. If a heart disease pre-existed the depressive disorder, the risk of getting heart failure is considerably raised when one is under constant depression.

Obesity and Weight Loss

Some depressed persons are prone to weight gains that would leave them obese, while others are bound to develop complications due to weight losses. Obesity increases the chances of developing high blood pressure and, in turn, heart diseases, cardiac arrests, Type 2 Diabetes, or even stroke. Weight loss can arise as a result of a loss in appetite. Some persons could regard this as a positive outcome, but this weight loss puts one’s health at great risk when it is sudden or severe.

Chronic pain

I probably should have mentioned this first. Chronic pain is among the most frequent complain by depressive disorder patients. It ranges from arthritis, back pain, migraines and headaches,  and fibroid tumors. Some individuals experience “overall” body pain that might be persistent and enervating.

High Blood Pressure

Cholesterol building up in blood vessels as a result of depression-induced obesity, and the heightened risk of heart complications may result in hypertension. This is because of the extended exposure to stress and anxiety conditions on the person experiencing depression.


Depression inhibits optimal working of the body’s natural resistance to disease and infection, leaving a person exposed and more likely to suffer other ailments. This means that it takes them longer to recover from infections. Some studies suggest that depression might cause an immune system’s inflammatory response that might alter how one’s neurochemistry.


            The correlation between Major and mild depressive disorders contrasts when it comes to their impact on an individual’s physical health. Separate but collaborative universal health interventions need to be debated and actions taken in due course to manage this global health concern. In more serious forms of depression, regardless of comorbidity, that is, there being or not there being other risk factors  taking keen interest in seeking treatment is recommend time and again. In minor types depression that relate to declining physical wellbeing, measures must be taken on either if not all the conditions.




The Effects of Depression in Your Body. (2014, September 30). Healthline.

Mental Health Foundation. (2018, August 27). Physical Health and Mental Health. Mental Health Foundation.

Nordqvist, C. (2018, February 16). Antidepressants: Types, side effects, uses, and effectiveness.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2019, February 6). Depression. National Institute of Mental Health.

How Anxiety & Depression Impacts Your Physical Health. (2019, August 12). Advanced Psychiatry Associates.




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