Things That Depression Is Not: Part 3
Depression is not just a mental health issue, but a physical health issue too. This is the third blog on our series on what depression is not. When we say “depression” in this blog, we are using it as an umbrella term for multiple depressive disorders. When we are referring to major depressive disorder, it’ll be abbreviated as MDD.
Depression and poor health walk hand in hand. Someone can be in perfect health and still have depression. Overall, though, there are distinct associations between depressive disorders and physical maladies. The following are some of those associations.
Depression is associated with chronic pain from an existing illness, condition, or disorder. When you hurt all the time, it’s hard to be in a good mood. Chronic pain is something that can be on and off or present all the time. It can limit the tasks one can perform, the recreational activities one can partake in, which can alter one’s relationships.
Depression is associated with the stress of dealing with illness, particularly severe and/or chronic illness. Being sick can take a toll on one’s finances when dealing with medical bills. Being sick can destroy one’s routine. Some have to change careers or are not able to work for a while, possibly ever again.
Depression can cause pain of its own. Depression is often found with headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, and digestive upset. Some people with depression feel fatigue and want to sleep a lot. Others experience insomnia paired with anxious, ruminative thoughts.
Depression can be a symptom of or entangled with a hormonal condition like lupus. Hormones are chemical messengers produced in the endocrine glands, and they have a serious influence over our mood, how we process sensory input, and how we respond to stimulation.
It’s natural for us to react or want to react certain ways when feeling rotten. Someone feeling depressed might move around less because they are tired, but that can lead to joint stiffness, sluggish circulation, and even loss of muscle tone with prolonged lack of exercise. When depressed, many people crave “junk” foods while others might not want to eat or forget to.
Depression is not all in your head. It’s felt all over the body. Depression is also not something you have to deal with alone. Everyone deserves mental and physical health care. Ask us about our metabolic workup that helps give us a holistic look at mind and body. Contact us on our website or call (585) 442-6960.