Everyone knows depression affects how a person feels emotionally. Feelings of sadness and despair overtake them, but they aren’t the only effect depression can have. Can depression make you sick? It absolutely can impact a person’s physical health. Complicating this fact is that many people do not tie their symptoms of poor physical health to their depression. This can cause unnecessary suffering and focusing on the wrong area of their lives when looking for healing.

Can Depression Actually Make You Sick?

Depression affects about 21 million adults in the U.S. each year, making it a common mental health disorder. As well, among children aged 12 to 17, another 3.7 million deal with depression. When people think about depression, they think about the obvious symptoms. This mental illness causes people to feel extensive sorrow, hopelessness, and loss of zest for life. Yet, there is more to know about this disease. 

Can depression make you sick? It can, which often causes complications for many people. When someone who has depression experiences symptoms of poor physical health, they often do not tie it to their mental health disorder. This can delay getting help and complicate a person’s ability to understand the full scope of how depression impacts their life. 

The way in which depression can make a person physically sick may be attributed to other causes. When the true origin is not known, it can result in wasting time with treatments or testing that does not lead to the real cause. Once a full diagnosis is made and a correlation can be drawn between physical ailments and depression, an effective treatment plan can be made. This approach will focus on healing both the physical and emotional symptoms caused by depression.

In What Ways Can Depression Make You Sick? 

If a person has depression or suspects they might, they should look out for certain signs of physical illness. If the person experiences them, it’s important to report them to a doctor or therapist. Commonly experienced signs of physical illness related to depression include:

Digestive System Disruptions: Many people experience nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea that doesn’t have an explanation. This is because the body physically manifests feelings of depression through these types of physical symptoms. In fact, conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress often show up via gastrointestinal distress. When excess stomach acid is produced, it can contribute to nausea. Additionally, it can increase a person’s chance of developing an ulcer. 

Headaches: Unexplained headaches often happen to someone with depression. Headaches may last longer or be more painful than usual. As well, they may result from other physical side effects of depression. 

Change In Sleep Patterns: Depression can cause a person to develop insomnia. They may have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. Alternatively, it can also cause a person to sleep too much.  

Change in Weight: People with depression sometimes begin to overeat or eat an unhealthy diet, resulting in weight gain. For others, the disease causes them to lose their appetite to the point that they lose weight. 

Aches and Pains: Depression can cause pain a person cannot pinpoint as having a specific cause. This includes back, neck, and joint pain. 

High Blood Pressure: When depression goes untreated, it can cause a person to develop high blood pressure. In turn, this can cause an irregular heartbeat. 

How Are Physical Symptoms of Depression Treated?

Knowing the answer to “Can depression make you sick?” leads to another question. Can the physical signs of this disease be treated? They can be treated through a variety of approaches. The most important first step is to get a complete diagnosis from a doctor or therapist. From there, seeking professional treatment for depression offers an array of ways to heal. When the causes of depression are explored and addressed, the physical symptoms become less of an issue. Healing the mind also helps heal the body. 

The standard line of defense in treating depression is talk therapy. Dialectical behavioral therapy and psychotherapy offer effective ways to learn to manage depression. This helps people understand what contributed to developing depression and how to minimize or overcome the symptoms. 

Another source of treatment involves using medications. Antidepressant medications can make a world of difference by helping provide a level playing field in a person’s brain. Finding the right FDA-approved medication can help heal both emotional and physical symptoms caused by depression. As well, many over-the-counter medications can help with symptoms such as body aches and headaches. Often, when pain is relieved, people find it easier to establish a healthy sleep pattern. 

Last, physical ailments related to depression can be relieved by stress-reducing activities. This includes regular exercise, getting a massage, doing yoga, and more. Many of these activities are included as part of a holistic therapy plan in a depression treatment program. 

Find Help For The Symptoms of Depression Today in Atlanta, GA

Have you reached the point where your depression has impacted more than just your mental health? New View Wellness in Atlanta knows how difficult life can be when a person feels consumed by poor mental health. We offer effective outpatient mental health programs that treat depression no matter what stage a person is in. Our outpatient programs allow you to live at home while receiving intensive care during the day. We help you overcome the physical symptoms and improve the emotional symptoms. 

If you are ready to get the help you need for depression, give us a call or visit our admissions page today. Better days are in store for you when you get the treatment you deserve.