Depression: How Does It Affect The Physical Health Of The Patient?

In the fast-paced world today, depression is quite a common form of mental health issue. Depression can severely hamper the quality of life of those who suffer from it. People suffering from depression live through a constant feeling of fatigue and worthlessness. However, what many people are not aware of is that depression can eventually cause physical problems, too.

The heavy toll on the psychological system causes problems like insomnia, eating disorders, etc. If the patient continues to suffer from these for an extended period, they lose weight, their immune system gets weakened, they suffer from unexplained pain, etc.

The physical issues drown the patient even more in depression. This is why it is crucial to recognize and treat the causes and physical manifestations of depression at the right time.

If you are suffering from depression you can consider visiting psychotherapist Gita Sawhney at her practice GS Mental Health & Wellness in Manhattan, New York.

Depression: What Can Cause It?

There is no denying that it can be challenging to pinpoint the causes of depression. However, knowing some of the significant causes might help you understand yourself a little bit more.

  • Some families can have a history of depression. In such cases, this mental health ailment can be passed down through genes.
  • Imbalances in neurotransmitter hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine, etc, can contribute to depression.
  • Trauma, such as abuse, loss of loved ones, etc, is one of the significant causes of depression in many people.
  • Lack of social support and recognition can also cause depression in many people. Marginalized people of the society often suffer from depression because of this.
  • Living in a high-stress environment for prolonged periods can cause depression. Stress is one of the primary triggers of this mental health issue.

Understanding the physical symptoms of depression

The physical manifestations of depression can be very painful for those who suffer from it. The breakdown of both the body and mind might have dangerous results in the long run.This why understanding the physical symptoms of depression and the mechanisms behind it is essential.

The Brain Body Connection

Depression can affect the brain, disrupting the neurotransmitter balance. Long-term depression reduces the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other such neurotransmitters. So, the ones concerned with depression suffer from constant mood swings. Chronic stress can shrink the hippocampus, impairing memory and learning. The amygdala also becomes hyperactive, intensifying all emotional responses. Neurological changes can increase the symptoms of depression, making the person feel helpless, worthless, and tired.

Stress on the Body:
Cortisol, Adrenaline, and the Physiology of Depression

Stress can trigger several neurological responses impacting both mental and physical health. Depression can change the limbic system, causing structural changes in the cortex. These changes affect decision-making and mood regulation. Stress can also increase the release of cortisol and adrenaline in your body. Excess cortisol damages the hippocampus, hampering memory and emotions. Adrenaline puts the patient in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. It’s crucial to understand the deep connection between depression and stress.

Insomnia and appetite changes

Depression hampers the balance of appetite and sleep. Those who suffer from depression usually have insomnia or oversleep most of the time. The constant grip of sadness and worthlessness keeps some people up night after night, while some escape from it through sleep. In some people, appetite changes cause a loss of interest in food, while some try to eat through their feelings of emptiness. So, the patient ends up malnourished or obese.

Weakened immune system

Depression can severely weaken the immune system. The increased release of hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, etc, weakens the immune system. So, you become more susceptible to infections and diseases. Depression also causes insomnia, which hampers the sleep patterns of the patients. So they always feel exhausted. People with depression often end up choosing unhealthy lifestyles, having no appetite, or overeating. All these physical effects weaken the overall immune system in the long run.

To understand your condition better and get the right treatment you can visit Gita Sawhney at her practice GS Mental Health & Wellness in Manhattan. New York.

Break The Cycle: Strategies To Alleviate Symptoms

Getting away from the grip of depression is not impossible. You can break the cycle of depression step by step. Read below to know the steps.

Embrace Your Thoughts:

Depression can make a person feel very fatigued and hopeless. However, knowing your feelings and thoughts is the first step to starting the healing journey. Self-reflection can help you organize your thoughts. That way, you can express yourself to your loved ones and the ones treating you.

Build a network of trusted individuals

Surrounding yourself with people who you trust and love can help people with depression. Build a network of people with whom you can express yourself without judgment. This will give you much-needed emotional support. This is one of the most essential steps in starting your journey to heal from depression.

Establish healthy habits

Focus on maintaining healthy habits and lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat healthy, and have good sleeping habits. Establishing healthy habits will help you improve your physical health gradually. A healthy body can make a place for a healthy mind.

Educate yourself

Try to learn more about your condition, symptoms, and feelings. Proper knowledge will give an insight into yourself. However, do not diagnose yourself. Only a trained professional can diagnose you for depression by using adequate assessment tools.

Seek professional help

The final step to healing is seeking professional help. Research for a mental health expert who will suit your needs. For people who cannot go for in-person treatment, you can go for online sessions with mental health experts.

Are you seeking a mental health mentor who can provide an inclusive environment and compassionate treatment? Gita Sawhney, a psychotherapist practicing in Manhattan, New York might be able to help you out. You can consider visiting her practice, GS Mental Health & Wellness.

Approaches Used By Professionals To Treat Depression

Professionals use different methods to treat depression. Knowing about some basics of the treatment process can be helpful:


Psychotherapy or talk therapy is one of the fundamental approaches taken by mental health experts. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy are two types of therapies professionals use. These therapies identify and modify negative patterns of thought, teach coping methods, and address underlying causes of depression.


Some doctors can sometimes prescribe antidepressants. These medications can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety to some extent. These medications can help with the imbalance in neurotransmitters. Medications must be taken under expert supervision.

Do continue your treatment with your therapist to complete the healing process. Patience is the key to healing. If you’re looking for a compassionate therapist you can contact psychotherapist Gits Sawhney at GS Mental Health & Wellness in Manhattan, New York.

FAQs About Physical Effects Of Depression

Q1: What are the physical effects of depression?

Depression can manifest itself through several physical symptoms, such as a decrease in appetite, disturbed sleep patterns, etc. Individuals can also experience decreased energy levels, limiting their capabilities to perform physical activities. Such physical effects need to be addressed by expert health professionals.

Q2:How does depression affect overall health?

Depression can affect the overall health of an individual. People with depression are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, immune dysfunction, etc. Stress Response triggered by depression can lead to body inflammation, intensifying existing health conditions.

Q3: Are there strategies that can address the physical effects of depression?

To address the physical effects of depression, one needs a holistic approach. Some activities, such as regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing mind-body techniques, etc, are believed to reduce the physical issues caused by depression to some extent. Medical professionals can prescribe medications that can address and reduce the physical effects of depression.

Wrapping Up!

Depression can have a severe impact on the lives of people affected by it. The mental effects caused by this mental health illness can finally cause physical issues, too. If you feel suffocated, you should start the journey of healing as soon as possible. Always remember that healing from depression does not happen in a day. Give yourself time and take things slow.

The article above hopefully will give you all the information regarding the physical effects of depression, its causes, treatment methods, and steps to start the healing journey. If you are unsure where to find inclusive mental health treatment and support, Gita Sawhney might be your answer. Visit her at GS Mental Health & Wellness practice in Manhattan , New York and book a session today!

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