How Depression Hurts

How Depression Hurts

August 8, 2019 5 By Bertrand Dibbert


What do insomnia, sadness, and physical pain with no apparent
explanation have in common? They can all be signs of depression. Depression is a common mood disorder, with over 300 million people
living with it worldwide. And depression is much more
than simple unhappiness. It hurts. Not just emotionally, but physically too. It’s normal to be sad sometimes. It happens to all of us. But when sadness becomes so overwhelming that it makes you lose
interest and enjoyment in life, it can grow into a full-scale depression. Depression isn’t limited
to your emotional state. It comes with a set of physical symptoms, which affect anything from your
heart to your immune system. Depression hurts you. But how is physical pain
related to your emotions? People with depression often
overlook their physical symptoms. But the pain that comes with depression isn’t
a result of denying your emotional disorder and converting it into a bodily one. That pain is real. This mood disorder comes with fatigue. It wipes out your energy and doesn’t let you
restore it through a good night sleep. Because chances are, you’re
having trouble falling asleep. Insomnia weakens your immune system, making existing illnesses worse,
or even causing new ones. If you’re depressed, you can
lose your appetite completely, or start overeating, causing
your weight to fluctuate. If left untreated, excessive eating can lead
to obesity-related illnesses like diabetes. Malnutrition, on the other hand, can cause cramps, stomach
aches and constipation. Under this kind of long-term stress, your body releases more of the
stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol speeds up your heart rate, and makes your blood vessels shrink. Narrow blood vessels can give you chest pain, and cause a whole range
of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack. Cortisol is also known for
blocking calcium absorption, which, in turn, decreases the
growth of your bone cells. In short, it changes your bone
mass and can lead to osteoporosis. Apart from elevated levels of cortisol, depression triggers a decrease in
neurotransmitters like dopamine. With a lack of these
neurotransmitters in your brain, your body struggles to regulate biological
processes like appetite, sleep and sex drive. Depression also makes
you very sensitive to pain. You may have seen videos of people
showcasing sudden superpowers in some stressful situations. But that’s not the kind of long-term
stress you get with depression. Depression makes you
notice even minor pains. Pains that you would usually ignore. On top of that, mental pain and physical pain activate some of the same regions of the brain. It seems as though your brain
can mistake your emotional pain for physical distress. So if you struggle with migraines or back pain, or any other unexplained body
aches while feeling depressed, don’t assume they’re unrelated. Symptoms of depression can last
for weeks, months or even years. The good news is, it’s treatable. But you can’t just put yourself
back together by yourself. If you or someone you love are feeling blue,
the first thing you should do is talk. Talk to your family and talk to your doctor. Find an appropriate treatment to ease the pain. Add some exercise to your routine. And keep discovering
Your Amazing Body with us. Did you know that anxiety
can make you smarter? Some studies have shown that
people with anxiety (not depression) tend to be more analytical. In turn, people with exceptionally
high IQs often have anxiety issues. Aha! So I’m not just anxious, I’m also a genius!