Though you may feel alone, depression is actually one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting a large percentage of adults in North America. Depression can make you feel sadness, grief, guilt, loneliness, and anxiety. It can affect your mental and physical health and well-being. And it can impact many facets of your daily life.
If left untreated, depression may negatively affect these aspects of your life.
People who have depression typically feel tired all the time and may sleep more than usual, without feeling rested. Others may have difficulty sleeping at night, leading to chronic fatigue.
2. Physical Aches and Pains
Depression may also present in physical form, such as chronic pain and headaches. Often, these aches and pains don’t respond to medications. Due to the link between depression and stress, those struggling with depression may also increase their risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Work and School
When you have depression, it can be difficult to wake up every morning and go to work. It can be difficult to concentrate, make decisions, and problem solve, making it hard to fulfill employment obligations. It may be difficult to perform tasks or enjoy your job. It can reduce the accuracy and efficiency of your work. It can put a strain on relationships with coworkers. As a result, you may face reprimands at work.
Depression can also make it difficult for students to concentrate in class. They may skip their classes often, and they won’t be committed to doing their coursework or studying. They may fail their classes or drop out.
Romantic relationships, familial relationships, and friendships can suffer when one person has depression. This person can be more moody, aggressive, and irritable, lashing out at the people who love them. People will depression often also withdraw from social situations and physical affection. This can put a strain on relationships.
Some people with depression may turn to alcohol or drugs to try to cope with their feelings of despair and sadness. These self-administered medications never improve the situation, but the person will depression may continue to be pushed further and further into the addiction, believing they have no other options.
People with depression often over-eat and binge to cope with their feelings. This can lead to weight gain and obesity-related diseases. Others don’t enjoy eating anymore and may lose weight due to their loss of appetite. These problems with diet can lead to stomach aches, cramps, malnutrition, and constipation.
It can be difficult for those with depression to keep up with tidiness and cleanliness. They may ignore their own hygiene, going a full week or more without a shower. They may no longer shave, brush their hair, or brush their teeth out of apathy. They may also neglect the cleanliness of their homes, leaving dishes and laundry piling up, not taking out the trash, and more. These simple daily activities become too much to bear.
8. Apathy in Activities
People facing depression often become a different version of who they once were. Particularly, many will stop caring about the activities they used to love participating in, such as social outings and sports. They no longer have the same enthusiasm or energy to stay interested. Instead, they spend most of their time alone and withdraw from their hobbies and social groups.
9. Weakened Immune System
Besides an increased pain sensitivity that leads to more body aches, depression can also weaken the immune system, leading to a greater frequency of colds and long-term illnesses.
If you believe you or someone you love is showing signs of depression, know that there’s professional help from a psychotherapist available.