How Does Depression Affect Physical Health?

Depression is a mental illness that affects a multitude of people across the world. Over 264 million people have suffered from depression, according to the World Health Organization. Depression can vary in severity from person-to-person, and in the worst cases, can lead to suicide. It is crucial for those experiencing depression symptoms to consult a doctor or therapist. 

However, it can be challenging for some people to admit that they are struggling with depression. Recognizing depression and its symptoms is the first step in achieving recovery. While there is no “cure” for depression, there are ways to significantly alleviate the adverse effects on the body. 

What Causes Depression

Depression is a complicated disease that can be caused by several different factors. A chemical imbalance in the brain, past trauma, your environment, or a mixture of all these can cause depression. Depression can also be a disease that runs in your family, much like heart disease. 

Long periods of drug use can also cause depression, which is why Choice House focuses just as much on mental health as we do physical health. Going through both depression and addiction recovery can be quite tricky, which is why you shouldn’t try to do it on your own. 

The Mental Strain Caused by Depression

There are many different types of depression, as well as many various symptoms. Those experiencing depression could experience feelings of hopelessness, outbursts of anger, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and more. If not treated, the mental strain brought on by depression can cause long-term damage. 

How Depression Affects the Body

Many people don’t realize that depression can affect your body just as much as your emotional state. A common symptom of depression is fatigue, which can be experienced all hours of the day and can hinder one’s ability to get things done. The exhaustion brought on by depression can also significantly affect your social life as you may not feel like being around friends or family. 

In adults, depression can even cause body aches or other types of pain. It can slow down reaction times, which can prove troublesome when trying to work or finish projects. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it’s essential to see a doctor. 

Depression Medications

If you are diagnosed with depression, your doctor might recommend several different treatment methods, including therapy. In severe cases, they may advise you to check in to a mental health care facility. Most of the time, however, doctors will recommend you start taking some form of antidepressant.

There are many different forms of antidepressants, and finding the right one can seem complicated at first. Usually, a doctor will prescribe the medicine they think would work best for your situation, then ask you to monitor how you feel over the next couple of weeks. If you find the medicine to be beneficial, you can stay on it while monitoring your health. If it isn’t helpful, then the doctor will likely recommend something different.

If you find a depression medication doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged. Many people have trouble finding the right medication for them. While you may not be comfortable taking medications, you may want to listen if your doctor recommends it. Be open about your concerns with taking medication, and your doctor will give you the best advice. 

Going to Therapy

Something else that is highly recommended to those suffering from depression is going to therapy. Depending on the severity of your depression, you might decide to see a therapist anywhere from once a month to once a week. Finding the right therapist can be as easy as doing a quick Google search to see who is available in your area. If you aren’t comfortable enough with one therapist, don’t get discouraged. Finding the right therapist could involve plenty of trial-and-error.

If you are worried about the cost of therapy, be sure to look for any low-cost or free therapy options in your area. Many therapists will work with your health insurance provider to pay for sessions. If you are in school, many universities offer free counseling or therapy. There are also many low-cost online therapy resources. 

Other Methods of Combating Depression

While seeing a therapist and taking antidepressants can help combat depression, some may find that they need more help. This could involve meeting with a support group to discuss any past trauma or other possible causes of depression. Exercise, proper diet, meditation, and yoga have also been beneficial to those suffering from depression. 

No matter what, it is crucial to find what works for you and stick with it. Starting new things can be difficult when going through depression, but only when you begin to take care of yourself can you truly heal. 


Depression is a disease that affects millions of people across the entire world. It can significantly affect your emotional state and cause physical pain, as well. There are many ways one can combat the symptoms of depression, including taking antidepressants, going to therapy, and finding new ways to take care of your body. Depression can often go hand-in-hand with addiction, which is why we at Choice House work hard to find what works best for the individual. Not everyone experiencing depression has the same needs. We have some of the best therapists on staff who can help determine your best course of action regarding combatting depression. We will also help you determine the right way to avoid falling back into depression after leaving treatment. At Choice House, we’ll make sure you never feel like you’re going through this alone. For more information about Choice House, call us today at (720) 577-4422.

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