Saturday, June 15, 2024

What Happens To Your Body When You Are Depressed

Does Pregnancy Cause Depression

What happens to your body when you are Depressed?

Pregnancy can cause you to experience depression. Your body goes through a lot of change and the stresses of pregnancy can trigger depression in some women. Not everyone who becomes pregnant will also be depressed.

If you have experienced depression in the past, your symptoms could return or if you were living with depression before your pregnancy, it may get worse once youre pregnant.

Its important to talk to your healthcare provider about depression during pregnancy because it can extend after delivery. Women who experience depression during pregnancy are at a higher risk of postpartum depression .

Genes’ Effect On Mood And Depression

Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that in the best case they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a person who is genetically vulnerable to depression, any stress can then push this system off balance.

Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, depression treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.

Another goal of gene research, of course, is to understand how, exactly, biology makes certain people vulnerable to depression. For example, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.

The evidence for other types of depression is more subtle, but it is real. A person who has a first-degree relative who suffered major depression has an increase in risk for the condition of 1.5% to 3% over normal.

The Physical Effects Of Depression

The most well-known symptoms of depression are emotional, including sadness, guilt, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness. Other frequent symptoms, like trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks, are also thought of as being related to ones state of mind.

Although depression is a mental illness, it can also cause physical symptoms. Pain, stomach upset, fatigue, and restlessness are just a few potential physical effects of depression. People can have these physical symptoms for a variety of reasons, but they may not realize depression can be among the potential causes.

Certain treatments used for depression, such as medication, can also have physical side effects like nausea, weight changes, and sexual dysfunction. If you have physical symptoms of depression, your doctor and mental health care provider can help you better understand and manage them.

Also Check: Difference Between Crippling Depression And Depression

How Common Are Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20 percent of American adults. That means millions are beset by an overabundance of the fight-or-flight response that primes the body for action. When youre stressed, the brain responds by prompting the release of cortisol, natures built-in alarm system. It evolved to help animals facing physical threats by increasing respiration, raising the heart rate and redirecting blood flow from abdominal organs to muscles that assist in confronting or escaping danger.

These protective actions stem from the neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and put the body on high alert. But when they are invoked too often and indiscriminately, the chronic overstimulation can result in all manner of physical ills, including digestive symptoms like indigestion, cramps, diarrhea or constipation, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Depression, while less common than chronic anxiety, can have even more devastating effects on physical health. While its normal to feel depressed from time to time, more than 6 percent of adults have such persistent feelings of depression that it disrupts personal relationships, interferes with work and play, and impairs their ability to cope with the challenges of daily life. Persistent depression can also exacerbate a persons perception of pain and increase their chances of developing chronic pain.

Depression Affects Your Whole Body

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Brain chemicals affect your body as well as your mood. So depression may do more than just make you feel low. You may also feel bad physically. Depression can:

  • Cause trouble with mental tasks such as remembering, concentrating, or making decisions

  • Make you feel nervous and jumpy

  • Cause trouble sleeping. Or you may sleep too much.

  • Change your appetite

  • Cause headaches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains

  • Drain your body of energy

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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:

  • medication,

What You Can Do To Feel Better

When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.

Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.

Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.

Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

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Your Facial Recognition Skills & Memory Recollection Improve

Although sadness mostly sucks, it can come with this one major benefit. In August 2011, LiveScience talked to Peter Hills â a researcher and cognitive psychologist from Angila Ruskin Universtiy in England â about experiments he helped conduct regarding sadness in college students. His findings showed that sad people are better at facial recognition than people who are in happy or neutral moods. Evidently, being sad results in elaborate thinking, and elaborate thinking makes it easier for someone to recognize faces.

Sadness can also help us recall the past more clearly. Joseph P. Forgus reported in his June 2014 article for the University of California at Berkeley’s The Greater Good that sadness improves our attention to detail. So while being happy definitely feels better than being sad, it can also result in less focused and attentive processing, which can cause us to incorporate false information into the recollection of our memories. So there you go â your sad memories may feel clearer than your happy ones simply because you were paying more attention during your sad times.

Common Symptoms Of Clinical Depression

What Happens To Your Body When Youre Stressed

There are different forms of clinical depression with different combinations of the following symptoms:

Physical:

  • Sleep disturbances-insomnia, oversleeping, waking much earlier than usual
  • Changes in appetite or eating: much more or much less
  • Headaches, stomachaches, digestive problems or other physical symptoms that are not explained by other physical conditions or do not respond to treatment

Behavioral/Attitude:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, such as going out with friends, hobbies, sports, sex, etc.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance

Emotional:

  • Persistent sad or “empty” mood, lasting two or more weeks
  • Crying “for no reason”
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty or worthless
  • Feeling irritable, agitated or anxious
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

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New Study Shows What Happens To Your Brain When Youre Anxious And Depressed

Anxiety and depression at work dramatically change your brain and impair your job performance.

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Neuroscientists have continued delving into the relationship between the brain and mental illness to offer hope to those who suffer. On a global level, depression is the most prevalent and disabling psychiatric disorderaffecting approximately 4.4% of the populationwith anxiety the second most prevalent psychiatric disorder, according to the World Health Organization. Depression costs employers an estimated $44 billion each year in lost productivity. About half of employees with depression are untreated. Anxiety in the workplace affects some 40 million Americans, and research shows it can decrease job performance. One of the worst results is missing deadlines. In one study, 55% of employees surveyed said they experienced anxiety about deadlines, which may even contribute to missing them altogether. The coexistence of depression and anxiety has been linked to poorer health outcomes, more severe symptoms, inadequate job performance and higher levels of suicidal thoughts.

New Research

Climb The Career Ladder Without Anxiety And Depression

Depression Is A Serious Mood Disorder That Can Be Treated The First Step Is Recognizing The Symptoms And Getting Help

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Clinical depression is a very serious medical condition that affects nearly 20 million teenagers and adults in the United States. Everyone can have a bad day, or two, now and again, but when you are depressed, those feelings of sadness never seem to end. Depression makes everyday tasks feel overwhelming and the motivation to do anything at all, very challenging. Depressed people often isolate themselves socially.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. Research suggests it is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. This difficult condition does not discriminate. It can begin anytime, in any race or gender, and at any income level.

Anxiety in childhood or adolescence is linked to depression in adulthood. Depression that occurs in midlife is often the result of aco-occurring medical or physical illness such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer. The good news is that there are many effective treatments for depression so recognizing the symptoms and seeking help is important.

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The Source Of Depression

Depression is a kind of agony. If you have become agony and not ecstasy, it is because a large part of your life energy is happening compulsively, not consciously. It is happening as a reaction to external situations. Once you are happening compulsively, becoming depressed is very normal, because external situations are never a hundred percent in your control. There are so many things happening in the world if you react compulsively, getting lost and becoming miserable is natural. The more exposed you are to life, the more miserable you will become.

People can cause depression in their mood in so many ways. If you take away what they think is precious, they become depressed. The tragedy with a lot of people, especially in affluent societies, is that they have everything and yet they have nothing. Depression means that somewhere, a certain hopelessness has set in. If you go to some very poor village in India, they are really impoverished, but you will see joyful faces because they have hope that it is going to be better tomorrow. In affluent societies, that hope is gone. Depression has set in because everything that can be used externally has been fixed.

As we work on the outside, we must also fix the inside. Then the world would be beautiful. What we call as a spiritual process is just this not just fixing the objective aspect of your life but taking care of the subjectivity of who you are.

Major Or Clinical Depression

What Really Happens To Your Body When You

Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.

  • Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
  • Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.

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Treatment Can Counter Emotional Tolls

Although persistent anxiety and depression are highly treatable with medications, cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy, without treatment these conditions tend to get worse. According to Dr. John Frownfelter, treatment for any condition works better when doctors understand the pressures patients face that affect their behavior and result in clinical harm.

Dr. Frownfelter is an internist and chief medical officer of a start-up called Jvion. The organization uses artificial intelligence to identify not just medical factors but psychological, social and behavioral ones as well that can impact the effectiveness of treatment on patients health. Its aim is to foster more holistic approaches to treatment that address the whole patient, body and mind combined.

The analyses used by Jvion, a Hindi word meaning life-giving, could alert a doctor when underlying depression might be hindering the effectiveness of prescribed treatments for another condition. For example, patients being treated for diabetes who are feeling hopeless may fail to improve because they take their prescribed medication only sporadically and dont follow a proper diet, Dr. Frownfelter said.

Some changes to medical care during the pandemic have greatly increased patient access to depression and anxiety treatment. The expansion of telehealth has enabled patients to access treatment by psychotherapists who may be as far as a continent away.

Seek Support For Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is often not recognised and can go on for months or even years if left untreated. Its important to seek support as early as possible, as the sooner a person gets treatment, the sooner they can recover.

Untreated depression can have many negative effects on a persons life, including serious relationship and family problems, difficulty finding and holding down a job, and drug and alcohol problems.

There is no one proven way that people recover from depression. However, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help people on the road to recovery.

There are also many things that people with depression can do for themselves to help them recover and stay well. The important thing is to find the right treatment and the right health professional for a persons needs.

Also Check: Can A Traumatic Event Cause Depression

Worsening Chronic Health Conditions

People who already have a chronic health condition may find their symptoms are worse if they develop depression.

Chronic illnesses may already feel isolating or stressful, and depression may exacerbate these feelings.

A person with depression may also struggle to follow the treatment plan for a chronic illness, which can allow the symptoms to get worse.

People who experience depression and who have a chronic illness should talk to a doctor about strategies for addressing both conditions. Preserving mental health may improve physical health and make a chronic condition easier to manage.

Job Loss And Unemployment Stress

What Happens To Your Body When Dealing With Depression

Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.

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Depression Affects How Your Brain Talks To Your Stomach

People diagnosed with depression report more stomach and gastrointestinal problems than people who aren’t depressed. One 2020 study found that symptoms like frequent abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia, or IBS were almost twice as common in people who had symptoms of depression. Another study found that people with depression were also more likely to have either constipation or diarrhea, compared to non-depressed people.

Some of this may be the effect of living with a chronic illness, which is known to cause emotional distress. But there’s also a unique factor at play, what researchers call the “gut-brain axis.” Certain neural pathways that are activated when we’re stressed can have an effect on the functioning of the upper and lower GI tract. So constant activation of these brain circuits during chronic depression may lead to gastrointestinal problems. In fact, there’s a growing medical specialty called “psychogastroenterology” that’s focused on the connections between mood, stress, and GI health, a report in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology explained.

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