Physiological Effects Of Depression
Depression is a serious mental condition that many people suffer from. A lot of people cannot seem to grasp the extent to which depression can control your thought processes, your emotions and feelings and your overall well-being. At the same time, many people put depression to just mental processes, however, any type of diagnosed clinical depression has a huge impact on the physical well-being of that person and the day-to-day functioning. In fact, many who are diagnosed with depression cannot perform their social, work and educational activities due to the overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness that overcome them. It ends up being harmful to them because they miss out on important everyday routine activities that would have helped them to achieve their goals and aspirations. Apart from that there is a number of internal systems that are responsible for humans well-being that suffer as a consequence of depression and as a result we have these physiological effects of depression.
Physiological Effects Of Depression Through Internal Systems
Cardiovascular System And Depression
People who are diagnosed with depression also often worry about many things and experience anxiety. In fact, many times depression and anxiety go hand in hand. High stress levels contribute to many problems with cardiovascular system. Your heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict and if you experience that for a prolonged period of time, your body thinks there is a threat present and is always ready. That continuous “fight or flight” state might lead to heart disease in the future. If you are experiencing this, try to think of some relaxation and meditation techniques that could help you slow down your heart rate and calm your breathing.
Many psychologists recommend having a specified “worry time” where instead of worrying all day long about simple and unimportant things, you distract yourself with other things and then worry once a day during a specific time frame. Writing all of your worries down helps as well. That way you can see which worries are less important and which you actually have to focus on. Managing stress is an important coping mechanism and everybody and, especially people diagnosed with depression and anxiety need to deal with adaptively.
Digestive System And Depression
People with depression experience a lot of problems and changes regarding their eating habits. Some might eat close to nothing or even fast for a bit, while others will go to the opposite end of the continuum and consume amounts of foods they wouldn’t have when they aren’t in the middle of a depressive episode. These sudden appetite changes can cause a lot of problems with the digestive system not only during the depressive episode but also later on in the development of some disorders and diseases. In both directions, there are negative consequences that can lead from this sudden eating change: Type 2 diabetes and obesity from overeating and some form of eating disorder (anorexia nervosa, bulimia and others) from restricting or even binging and purging food.
Sleep Disturbances And Depression
Depression is characterized by changes in your sleep patterns. Many patients vary between having insomnia or sleeping all day. These sleeping changes can cause pains, headaches, migraines and other negative symptoms. It is important to try and get your sleep schedule back on track because sleep is a vital physiological process that is important in people’s well-being and for every-day functioning.
Apart from physiological effects of depression, it has many other negative symptoms and is also highly correlated with substance use disorders. If you suffer from any of these physical symptoms or are feeling down, please seek help whether it be with somebody who you know or a professional. You do not need to suffer alone!
Valerie is a psychology student who is trying to pursue a career in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is passionate about the brain and finds it fascinating. She loves learning about new discoveries and research that is going on in the world of psychology and neuroscience. One day she hopes to contribute to the scientific community!