Healthsheet

Depression Affects Your Mind and Body

Depression Affects Your Mind and Body

Everyone feels sad or “blue” from time to time. But depression is much more serious than just feeling down. Depression is a real illness. It makes you feel sad and helpless. It gets in the way of your life and relationships. It inhibits your ability to think and act. But, with help, you can feel better again.

Woman sitting in bed holding pillow to abdomen.
"When I was depressed, I felt awful. I was so tired all the time I could hardly think, but at night I couldn’t fall asleep. My head hurt. My stomach hurt. I didn’t know what was wrong with me."

Depression Affects Your Whole Body

Brain chemicals affect your body as well as your mood. So depression may do more than just make you feel low. You may also feel bad physically. Depression can:

  • Cause trouble with mental tasks such as remembering, concentrating, or making decisions.

  • Make you feel nervous and jumpy.

  • Cause trouble sleeping. Or you may sleep too much.

  • Change your appetite.

  • Cause headaches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains.

  • Drain your body of energy.

Depression and Other Illness

It is common for people who have chronic health problems to also have depression. It can often be hard to tell which one caused the other. A person might become depressed after finding out they have a health problem. But some studies suggest being depressed may make certain health problems more likely. And some depressed people stop taking care of themselves. This may make them more likely to get sick.



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