There is no doubt that depression can make us feel hopeless, sad, empty, and isolated – but can depression cause physical health problems? A researcher from Oxford University in the United Kingdom found that depression can lead to physical health problems, such as stroke and cardiovascular disease. Psych Central also notes that depression can lead to coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and maybe even type 2 diabetes. What aspect of depression causes these health issues?
Contributor Alice Walton from Forbes Magazine states that when we’re depressed, we’re less likely to take steps towards bettering our physical health; we are more likely to be sedentary and make poorer few choices, which can lead towards physical problems. Stress and inflammation often found in depression – according to doctors – can lead to damaged arteries and plaque buildup, which explains the relationship. Some studies suggest that depression may contribute to low bone mass by reducing the amount of calcium and other minerals that are deposited throughout the body as we age.
According to writer Jane Collingwood of Psych Central, depression in addition to another physical conditions can worsen symptoms as well. For example, if a person has depression and heart disease, they are twice as likely to reduce their social interaction. Combinations not only affect a person, but one can exacerbate the other. Professor David Goldberg of the Institute of Psychiatry in London expresses this by stating, “Depression and chronic physical illness are in a reciprocal relationship with one another; not only do many chronic illnesses cause higher rates of depression, but depression has been shown to antedate some chronic physical illnesses.”
Not to mention, the symptoms of depression can be damaging in and of themselves. A study conducted by a researcher at the University of Texas Southwest Medical School stated that depression can cause a person to feel chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness, sleep disturbances, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite changes. With these physical ailments arising due to depression, it makes sense that these can worsen if not treated. The best way to prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression is to seek treatment for it – psychotherapy is a form of “talk therapy” that includes one-on-one interaction with a therapist. Many people find this beneficial to work through their problems and develop tools to counteract their symptoms.
If your depression or anxiety has gotten out of hand and you are ready to take back control over your life, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu provides integrative mental health and addiction recovery treatment. We believe in working with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit for optimal well-being. These symptoms that you are experiencing are just that – symptoms. We can work with you to help you overcome this. You are not alone – call us today.