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How Untreated Depression Can Harm Your Physical Health

It’s estimated that about 17.3 million American adults are currently affected by depression. Even youth aren’t immune, as the mood disorder affects 1.9 million youths between the ages of 3 and 17. Although depression is diagnosed as a psychiatric disorder, it can manifest and affect a person in physical ways as well as emotional ones.

 At Boston Neurobehavioral Associates, the team is well experienced in treating and preventing depression, addiction, and other mental illnesses, giving you the best chance of achieving lasting recovery. We want to help you fully recover from depression and all its possible side effects, so we’ve compiled this helpful resource on how depression can influence your physical health.

About depression

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a medical condition that causes extreme

feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Depression can make it so you lose interest in activities or things that once gave you great joy. In serious cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts.

A period of the blues or sadness is normal, especially following a loss, disappointment, or tragedy, but depression that lasts longer than two weeks could signal a major depressive disorder. Other signs to watch for include:

If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, seek a professional evaluation and treatment at Boston Neurobehavioral Associates. We offer effective plans and treatment to help you manage depression so you feel more like yourself again. 

Depression and physical side effects

Depression can influence many major systems in your body, including your digestive system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system, and metabolism. You may experience:

Changes in your weight

Depression can lead to loss of appetite and nausea, which can cause you to lose weight. Many people with depression experience the reverse, however, and have increased appetite and weight gain. Being underweight or overweight contributes to serious health risks, such as heart problems, infertility, diabetes, and fatigue. 

Pain symptoms

Depression can cause unexplained aches and pains, increased tenderness, and problems with

your joints and muscles. You create a never-ending cycle, too, as chronic pain can make you feel more depressed. 

Decreased libido

Depression can cause you to lose interest in sex and to have trouble with arousal or in attaining orgasm. Sexual health problems can cause dysfunction in your relationships, which contribute to stress and make depression worse.

Sleep disturbances

When you’re depressed, sleep can either be too abundant or missing. You may find you sleep too much, so you feel sluggish and gain weight. Or you suffer insomnia and are at greater risk of diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension, and other chronic health concerns.

Gastrointestinal problems

You may experience digestive distress along with depression. Specifically, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, vomiting, and irritable bowel syndrome can result.

If you are affected by depression, get help today. Call Boston Neurobehavioral Associates or request an appointment on the website. 

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