How does depression affect the body?

Depression affects the body in much the same way as chronic stress does. Depression is associated with changes in sleep patterns (too little or too much), appetite and body weight (loss or gain), and lack of sexual desire or functioning. It can increase your sensitivity to pain and is even linked to heart disease. Many of these effects on the body go hand in hand, so it's difficult to say which is directly caused by depression. Some of these changes may actually be a cause of depression. It is probably best to think of the link between depression and its associated effects on the body as a cyclical relationship.

Depending on the case, depression can have a mild to severe affect on the body. Depression may lead to overeating and weight gain, or loss of appetite and weight loss. The emotional stress of depression can cause heart disease and lead to drug and alcohol abuse with its associated negative physical impacts. Insomnia caused by depression can make you feel weak and devoid of energy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.