How Depression Affects You: 15 Examples Of Depressed Affect
Understanding depression symptoms include reviewing how depression affects the body. Doing so gives a unique perspective on how depression has an effect on how decisions are made from what to eat to choosing which daily tasks to complete. Depressed affect takes a closer look at how depression affects both mental and physical aspects of a person sometimes leading to extreme actions or thoughts considered unhealthy.
Some cases may lead to self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Emotional aspects may feel overwhelming to someone dealing with the effects of depression. A depressed person may express actions or feelings showing they may be struggling to deal with their emotions. Here is an overview of depression and examples of depressed affect you should know to get a better understanding of how the body is affected.
The Effect Of Depression And Anxiety In Your Daily Life
Your daily life can be affected by depression and anxiety in many areas and usually involve negative thought patterns and feelings, which can normally reduce energy levels, can decrease concentration levels and career motivation, can disrupt relationship harmony and ultimately chronic depression and anxiety can accumulate in a decline of your physical health.
Depression and anxiety counselling session can help you to work through your negative thought patterns and emotions, and over time, youll be able to rediscover the real you and be able to do the things that you used to enjoy.
Our depression and anxiety clinical psychologists in Melbourne will strive to break down barriers so we can identify the core issue and begin to utilize our approaches, treatments, and therapies to change your thinking patterns and to work towards living a happy fulfilling life.
Reviewed by Greg Redmond, Director, Counselling In Melbourne, October 2017
Our blog is for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioural problem, please seek the assistance of an APHRA registered psychologist or other qualified mental health professionals
What Treatment Should I Be Offered
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence writes guidance on what treatment doctors should offer you. But your doctor does not have to give you these treatments. And the treatments may not be available in your area.
Different treatments may be available in your area. Your doctor might think these suit your symptoms more than the recommended treatments.
NICE recommend that depression is treated in different steps depending on how severe the condition is for you. The steps are as follows.
Step 1: Everyone who may have depression
Your doctor should offer you:
- an assessment of your symptoms,
- support, such as regular appointments in person or by telephone,
- information on how to deal with your symptoms,
- monitoring of your symptoms and follow-up, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 2: Mild to moderate depression
Your doctor may offer you:
- low-intensity interventions, such as self-help guided by the doctor or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- physical activity programmes,
- group cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- medication if you have a history of moderate or severe depression, or you have had symptoms for a long time, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 3: Moderate to severe depression, or mild to moderate depression when other treatments havent worked
Your doctor may suggest:
Step 4: Severe and complex depression or if your life is at risk Your doctor may suggest:
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Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
You Socialise Less Or Stop Altogether
In 2017, the BBC reported that 55 percent of those living with a mental illness “stopped socialising or going out“, according to a survey conducted by the charity Time to Change. Socialising can be especially difficult if you’re dealing with depression, when even seemingly small tasks like showering can become physically and emotionally overwhelming. Don’t minimise the significance of your social life if you’re struggling to see your friends or even respond to texts, bring it up with your doctor or therapist.
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When To Seek Help
It doesnt always matter how hard you try or how much energy you put into self-care and routines depression can sometimes creep up on you anyway.
Try to remind yourself that depression is a mental health condition. Just like all other forms of illness, we dont always have control over how it manifests.
If your symptoms of depression are making it feel impossible to follow your daily routine, or if youre having trouble concentrating or finding joy in things you otherwise would, it may be time to talk with a healthcare professional or therapist who can help you get to the bottom of whats going on.
What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
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Read Also: 5 Risk Factors For Depression
Subtle Symptoms Of Depression
The symptoms of depression often show up in a person’s life in subtle ways. Signs that a person may be experiencing depression can include:
- A messy room
- Canceling plans
- Spending all day in bed
Unfortunately, these symptoms are also easy to misinterpret. For loved ones, such behaviors can seem bewildering or even aggravating.
Friends might wonder why youre suddenly avoiding them. Your spouse might get angry that youre not doing your share around the house. Your children might be frustrated that you dont have the energy to play with them.
This is why depression is often referred to as an invisible illness. Its not something that someone can see just by looking at you. Unless you tell others what you are feeling and thinking, they may be left to infer meaning from your behavior. People arent always aware of the many symptoms that may be the result of depression.
And while you might worry about how your depression is affecting your family, your symptoms make it that much harder to get the help you need. Guilt and shame, for example, are also common symptoms of depression. Feeling that you are somehow disappointing the people you love can make those feelings worse.
How Is Depression Treated
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency . The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.
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How Parental Depression Affects Children
There is also evidence that growing up with a parent or caregiver who has depression can take a toll on a childs mental health and well-being. The condition can influence many different aspects of parenting, including how caregivers interact with their kids.
Depressed parents may interact with their kids less or in more negative ways. For example, they may be more critical of their children or may be less likely to respond to their children’s needs.
The social isolation that is also characteristic of depression can also extend its effects to kids, decreasing a child’s contact with supportive people outside of the family. Some research suggests that having a parent with depression increases a childs risk of later developing depression themselves. Research has found that:
- Infants with depressed mothers may cry more frequently or at a greater intensity.
- Children with depressed parents may have more behavioral problems.
- Kids with depressed parents are more likely to show signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
- Children with depressed parents are also more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
Parental depression may also contribute to higher substance-abuse rates among adolescents, poorer social relationships, and worse school performance.
Physical Effects Of Depression
The physical effects of depression impact the brain, heart and other parts of the body. Research shows that depression negatively affects the brain. A decrease in brain volume is one of the most disturbing side effects of depression. Fortunately, antidepressants appear to be able to reverse this brain volume loss.3
Depression and pain are also inter-related. You can read more about the pain of depression here.
Long-term depression is also known to negatively impact the heart. Depression causes inappropriate release of adrenaline which, over time, damages the cardiovascular system. An increase in artery and blood vessel stress are further health effects of depression. This can increase the risk of blood clots and heart attack.4
The effects of depression cause an overall increase in mortality, where those with depression may die 25 years sooner than the average person. This is thought to be due to both the physical and social side effects of depression.
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Personal Factors That Can Lead To Depression
Personal factors that can lead to a risk of depression include:
- family history depression can run in families and some people will be at an increased genetic risk. However, this doesnt mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the condition.
- personality some people may be more at risk because of their personality, particularly if they tend to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are perfectionists, are sensitive to personal criticism, or are self-critical and negative
- serious medical conditions these can trigger depression in two ways. Serious conditions can bring about depression directly or can contribute to depression through the associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of a condition or chronic pain
- drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.
Unwillingness To Share How Youre Feeling With Friends
For many people with major depressive disorder, the fear of judgment or stigma prevents them from opening up to friends and family about mental health issues. Others feel ill-prepared to burden loved ones with their problems.
You can speak with your social network about depression without burdening them and without doom and gloom. Even outlining some of your struggles to a close friend or family member can be therapeutic, even more so if they understand and empathize.
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Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
How Anxiety And Depression Can Effect Your Daily Life
Last Updated on By Harris Loveall
Although anxiety and depression are different conditions, they often occur together. Modern living is full of stress, and anxious or sad feelings are a normal response. However, sometimes these feelings occur without any noticeable outside stimulus. A person just begins to feel the weight of anxiety. In other cases, depression goes from being an occasional event to a long-term condition. In these cases, anxiety and depression can have a major effect on daily life.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Most people can tell if they are feeling anxious. During stressful times, they begin to feel a sense of unease, like there is something wrong. They may be able to identify the cause or it may just be a general feeling. Many recognize the onset of anxiety when they begin to lose focus. They may find it difficult to concentrate on important tasks at the workplace, or they may even experience difficulty with trivial tasks like driving a car or choosing the right product at the grocery store. In extreme cases, anxiety manifests as a form of hopelessness, as if there were an approaching doom. Victims often feel there is nothing they can do to protect themselves.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can be a lot harder to identify. Those people who are experienced with long-term clinical depression recognize the systems as a form of sadness. They experience a heaviness of heart, as if there were a weight in their chest.
Effect on Normal Activities
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How Depression Affects Daily Life
Research has shown people who suffer from depression have impaired physical, social and work relationships. The severity of the impact depends on the degree of depression. Depression affects every part of your life. It affects the way you eat, sleep, perform in school and work. It makes it hard to concentrate and remember things. It interferes with your relationships and home life. It can not only affect you but it takes a toll on family, friends and caregivers.
If left untreated depression can cause an irreversible disconnect from those affected with depression and their loved ones. In extreme cases, severe depression can lead to suicidal ideations.
What Are The Different Types Of Depression
You might have heard a number of terms used to describe depression. In this section, we explain what some of these terms mean.
What is clinical depression?
Clinical depression is a common term, but it is not a formal diagnosis. People sometimes say clinical diagnosis to just mean they have been diagnosed by a doctor.
What is a depressive episode?
Your doctor might say that you are going through a ‘depressive episode’. This is the formal name that doctors give depression when they make a diagnosis. They may say that you are going through a ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ episode.
What is recurrent depressive disorder?
If you have had repeated episodes of depression, your doctor might say that you have recurrent depressive disorder. They may say that your current episode is ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.
What is reactive depression?
If your doctor thinks that your episode of depression was caused by particular stressful events in your life, they may say that it is reactive. For example, divorce, job or money worries. This is sometimes separated from an adjustment disorder, where you may struggle with some symptoms of depression because of adapting to a major change in your life. Such as separation from people, retirement or migrating to a new area.
What is a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms?
You can find more information about Psychosis by clicking here.
What is dysthymia?
What is cyclothymia?
What is postnatal depression?
What is manic depression?
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Long Term Medical Conditions
Many people live with long-term medical conditions. For some, this has little impact on their life and the symptoms are managed quite easily. For others, day-to-day living can be really difficult.
Some long-term conditions can directly affect your mental health . However, for many people its the difficulties that can come along with living with a long-term condition that contribute to depression or anxiety. These difficulties include:
- chronic pain
- grief that you have lost your sense of yourself as a healthy person
- reduced income
- the side-effects of medication or treatment
- loss of social support
- worrying about others needing to care for you
- not being able to do things you used to enjoy.
Doctors and other health professionals are becoming more aware that having a long-term condition can affect your mental health. However, they are likely to be most concerned about your physical health. It is important that you share any concerns you have about your emotions or mental health.
Its very important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety yourself. Take notice of any unrelated physical pain, extreme tiredness, loss of concentration, feelings of hopelessness or anxiety about your health.