Why Depression Hurts Your Body Just As Much As Your Mind

Living with depression isn’t something that is all in your head. Intense emotional stress impacts your entire life, both mentally and physically. To say the least, it is draining to walk around all day carrying such a psychological burden. Living day in and day out wearing the cloak of depression can be taxing.

Eventually, those feelings transfer over into your physical body, causing a wide range of health issues. We know that it can cause sleepless nights, loss of appetite and anxiety, but there are other effects that living with depression can have on your life.

Immune System Functionality

If you are chronically depressed and sad, then it can greatly impact your immune system. People who are depressed usually get sick more often than people who aren’t. They are more susceptible to colds and flus. This is possibly linked to the rise in the stress hormone cortisol. In order to keep your hormones (and emotions) in check, try exercising. This natural remedy is known to boost moods and reduce stress levels.

Heart Problems

The rise in stress and anxiety that comes with chronic depression also effects the heart. With hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine skyrocketing, your blood pressure is also going to be going through the roof. Not only that, but consistently high cortisol levels can cause arteries to build up with plaque, causing the individual to become more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke.

Obesity

Emotions play a large part in the way most people eat. Sometimes we eat out of celebration, other times we eat as a way to comfort ourselves and some people don’t eat all when going through a stressful time. Either way, emotional eating impacts or lives. If you realize you haven’t had a meal in a few days, force yourself to eat something healthy ever three hours, whether its carrots or a handful of nuts, getting something in your system is going to make you feel better. If you find that you use food as a coping mechanism, try to substitute your eating behavior with a calming activity, such as knitting.

Loss of Libido

Being depressed isn’t exactly a vehicle to getting in the mood. It’s hard to feel sexy when you are riddled with stress and anxiety. It also doesn’t help that most antidepressants have a side effects that lower sexual desire. Try using natural remedies to lessen your anxiety, but you can’t force passion. This one might be something you just have to wait out.

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 Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Holly Lay