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What Are the Physical Effects of Depression and Its Adverse Impact on Your Mental Health and Relationships

Depressive Disorders are more than just a problem for your Mental Health. They also have physical symptoms that can lead to significant physical medical problems, which can affect your relationships and overall quality of life. Understanding the physical effects of Depression and their adverse impact on your Mental Health and relationships is key to treating these interconnected problems at their source.  

Only through evidence-based treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist can you effectively address the physical and mental symptoms of Depressive Disorders and their influence over your relationships. Learn more about the physical health problems that can stem from Depressive Disorder and how they influence your relationship health with this overview. 

The Link Between Depression and Physical Health 

Mental Health and physical health are intertwined. Conditions that affect one will inevitably affect the other. That is why it is important to understand the following physical conditions associated with Depressive Disorders in addition to the mental and emotional symptoms. You cannot treat one without simultaneously addressing the others. Ignoring one aspect of your Depression symptoms will cause the other issues to worsen over time.  

It is crucial to work with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who understands the interaction of physical and mental symptoms. Their expertise can help you pursue a holistic treatment plan that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional effects of Depression on your life and relationships. 

Digestive Issues 

Digestive problems are a common physical symptom of Depressive Disorders. Depression affects your appetite, which, in turn, affects digestive health and overall physical health. A lack of appetite from Depression can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, and other issues. Alternatively, some people turn to binge eating as a maladaptive way to numb the pain of Depression. This struggle can lead to problems such as obesity or diabetes.  

Sudden weight gain or loss can lead to stomachaches, cramps, and other digestive pain. These and other digestive health issues disrupt daily life, lead to exhaustion and emotional distress, and create conflict and stress that strain relationships. 

Issues With Heart Health 

Depression also affects heart health. One of the biggest ties between Depressive Disorders and cardiovascular issues lies in the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels are a symptom of Depressive Disorders. Higher cortisol levels cause complications such as an increased heart rate or the tightening of blood vessels. This form of prolonged physical stress increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and other cardiovascular issues. 

The combination of physical and emotional stress stemming from cardiovascular health problems takes a toll on both you and your loved ones. As with any serious health problem, cardiovascular issues can lead to severe medical scares, significant time and money commitments to treatment, and other complications. These recurring situations can affect your relationship and lead to conflict if you do not address the issue by seeking professional intervention from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. 

Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders 

Depressive Disorders take a serious toll on your sleep cycle. Sleep issues can stem from mental or emotional symptoms, such as negative thoughts and feelings of dread, guilt, or sorrow keeping you awake at night. These issues can also stem from the physical disruption of your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which prevents quality sleep and increases your risk of developing a Sleep Disorder like insomnia. Over time, sleep deprivation causes or exacerbates other physical health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and more.  

Disruptions in your sleep routine can harm your partner’s sleep schedule. This creates tension and frustration that can create conflicts in the relationship or exacerbate existing problems with stress, miscommunication, and other issues. Furthermore, insomnia and other Sleep Disorders lead to low distress tolerance, poor stress management, and worsened negative emotions such as anger and anxiety. All these factors affect the health of your relationship and your ability to effectively identify and address conflict when it arises. 

Neurological Health Issues 

Depressive Disorders affect the brain and central nervous system, altering the functionality of neurotransmitters, hormone production, and more. This affects factors such as pain tolerance and sensitivity, sleep cycles, energy levels, and sex drive. It can also cause neurological health problems like headaches and migraines. 

These issues disrupt daily life, exhausting you and preventing you from taking proper care of yourself and your partner. It can also hinder quality time, exacerbate stress, strengthen negative feelings like anger or anxiety, and worsen self-esteem—which affect your ability to build and maintain healthy relationships. 

Low Energy and Fatigue 

Lethargy is a symptom of Depressive Disorders in and of itself, but it can also develop or worsen due to difficulty sleeping, chronic pain, chronic health issues, burnout from worrying about physical health, and other factors. Lethargy, fatigue, and low energy levels affect your relationship by disrupting daily life and making it difficult to keep up with daily tasks and responsibilities. This added difficulty creates feelings of inadequacy, guilt, helplessness, and shame.  

Low energy levels also affect other aspects of physical health. They can lead to a lack of appetite, which in turn leads to poor dieting, lack of nutrition, and weight problems. Chronic fatigue also makes it difficult to keep up with medications, doctor’s appointments, and other treatments for ongoing physical health issues. These complications exacerbate physical health conditions and can create or worsen points of tension in your relationship. 

Sex Drive and Intimacy Issues 

Depressive Disorders can cause many different problems with intimacy, which is a major source of conflict in many relationships. Low energy, disrupted sleep cycles, emotional numbness, and a low sex drive are all common symptoms of Depressive Disorders. At the same time, issues such as a negative self-image or feelings of guilt, shame, resentment, and anxiety lead to intimacy and communication issues that prevent a healthy sex life. 

Intimacy issues can lead to or worsen existing other conflicts and create feelings of dread, uncertainty, and resentment between you and your partner. This is why it is crucial to treat Depressive Disorders with the help of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who knows how to handle the delicate and impactful role that intimacy plays in your romantic relationship. 

Treating Depression and Relationship Conflicts Together 

You cannot heal from the physical effects of Depression and their adverse effects on your Mental Health and relationships without treating the Depressive Disorder at the root of it. Let the experienced team at Blair Wellness Group guide you toward your clinical objectives. Book your appointment and start your Depression Therapy in Newport Beach and its surrounding areas today. 

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