It is natural to feel sad or unhappy from time to time as a result of life events. However, many individuals suffer from chronic depression that is ruining their lives. Depression is a feeling of deep sadness that persists and begins to interfere with quality of life. You may or may not know the contributing factors of your depression if you are a sufferer. What science does know is that there is no single cause of depression for each person.
We also know that depression can affect individuals in diverse ways. If you have been thinking about what the effects of depression are and believe that it affects the mind only, you might be surprised to learn that this mental health condition can also have an effect on physical health.
How Depression Affects the Mind and Body
To answer the question of ‘how depression affects you?’, it is important to consider the fact that each person who has depression will be affected in different ways. It is easy to assume that depression means a feeling of sadness and nothing else, but this is not the only way that this condition manifests itself.
For example, did you know that one of the most common signs of depression is fatigue? Or that lack of energy is also a symptom? In fact, there are many different physical, emotional, and behavioural signs that one may have depression. Below are a few examples:
- A constant feeling of sadness
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Constant fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Low self-worth
- A constant feeling of pessimism
- Lack of energy
- Feeling tearful
- Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.
How depression affects you as well as the type of symptoms you experience will usually depend on how severe your condition is. Doctors class depression as mild, moderate, or severe. Mild depression may make you feel low or sad and these feelings may persist. However, when depression is severe, it can even get to the point of making you feel as though life is not worth living. You might, therefore, become suicidal or start self-harming.
What Causes Depression?
Trying to identify the cause of your depression may not be as simple as it sounds. As mentioned above, there is no single cause of this illness for everyone and sometimes there may be nothing that is glaringly obvious that could have triggered your problems.
The following are some of the more common causes that can be attributed to depression:
- Hormones – A change in hormones can trigger depression in some individuals. For example, depression commonly occurs in women who are pregnant, have just given birth, or who are going through the menopause. It can even occur during a woman’s monthly cycle. In some women, the change in hormones can lead to a condition known as a premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and the symptoms they experience can be severe.
- Family History – A family history of depression can increase the chances of developing the condition. It is thought that depression could be a hereditary problem, but it can also be the result of growing up with a parent who suffered from depression. Whatever the reason, depression tends to run in families.
- Environment – There are various life factors that can have an impact on mental health. Quality of life, relationships with peers, and socio-economic status can all play a role in whether depression develops in a person or not.
- Traumatic Experiences – Unresolved trauma is a major contributing factor for depression. If you have suffered traumatic experiences, these could have left an emotional and psychological scar. Life events such as neglect, being bullied, being abused, witnessing a horrific accident, or losing a loved one can all cause mental health problems such as depression.
- Being Diagnosed with a Serious Illness – The impact of discovering you have a serious illness could lead to a huge amount of stress and worry that result in depression. This can be worse if your health condition is one that causes chronic pain and affects your quality of life.
- Lifestyle – Lifestyle choices also affect your mental health. The use of substances such as alcohol or drugs can cause contribute to depression, and there is thought to be a link between smoking and depression. Those who abuse alcohol or drugs will also have an increased risk of depression.
How Depression Affects Your Life
When asking the question of how depression affects you, it is important to consider that it can affect far more than mental and physical health. If you are depressed, you might become isolated and withdrawn. You may not want to spend time talking to the people you love, and you may lose all interest in the hobbies or activities that you usually enjoyed.
Depression can also affect your ability to enjoy sex. You may lose interest or suffer other sexual problems; coupled with a desire to be alone, this can have a dramatic impact on your relationship.
Depression can affect your ability to perform well at work and at school too. You may have no desire to attend either and might begin missing days, which could have an enormous impact on your prospects and your ability to earn an income. This will then have implications for your finances and the well-being of not only yourself but also those who depend on you.
Can You Beat Depression?
Depression is a mental health illness that can be treated though. Although researchers still do not fully understand depression and why some people are affected when others are not, many believe it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Nevertheless, scientists believe that depression is much more complex than that. The fact that there are so many different causes makes it a difficult illness to understand. Having said that, there are ways in which depression can be treated and managed to help improve quality of life.
A medication called antidepressants are often prescribed for those suffering from depression. It is believed that these pills address the chemical imbalance in the brain to improve mood. Nonetheless, most people find that a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and talking therapies is the best way to treat their depression.
If you have depression and are seeking help to overcome it, you can get in touch with us here at Recovery Lighthouse. We have a team of experts who can help you to find the cause of your depression and help you to overcome it.
If you have also been abusing drugs or alcohol to help you cope with the symptoms of your depression, you may now have a dual diagnosis that means your condition is more complex and requires specialised treatment. This is something that we can help you with.
Our treatment programmes are designed to help you get to the heart of your problem and develop the skills to help you regain control of your life. You may benefit from a comprehensive inpatient programme, particularly if your illness is severe. This type of programme will consist of various therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy in conjunction with holistic treatments that are designed to heal your mind, body and spirit.
For more information about our programmes and how we can help you, please call our helpline today. We can provide more details on how depression affects you and what you can do to improve your quality of life. Please call for more information.