How Untreated Depression Can Affect Your Health

How Untreated Depression Can Affect Your Health

Depression impacts your overall health, and may occur along with other medical conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or diabetes. It may also cause problems such as alcoholism or drug addiction, which present separate health risks.

Depression and sleep

Depression can cause sleep disorders, and sleep disorders can worsen depression or anxiety, so it can be like a vicious circle. The American Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines a sleep disorder as an abnormal sleep pattern that interferes with physical, mental, and emotional functioning.

Chronic sleep problems increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity as well as several other health risks.

The question of whether depression causes sleep disorders or sleep disorders cause depression is one that researchers have been unable to answer. However, getting treatment for depression can certainly reduce the risk of developing a sleep disorder and may help resolve an existing one.

Your heart and depression

People with heart disease are almost twice as likely to have depression compared to others. Research shows that depression is linked to low-grade inflammation, which is associated with clogged arteries.

Stress hormones, which are produced in excess in people with depression, can slow the heart’s response when increased blood flow is necessary. Some of the symptoms of depression can make doing the things that lead to a healthy heart more difficult. For example, depression can cause fatigue, which may make exercise more challenging.

If you have heart disease, you should be extra-vigilant for symptoms of depression, and if you are depressed, you should have regular heart-health screenings. Getting treatment for depression reduces the risk of heart disease.

Untreated depression and substance dependence

In 2014, almost eight million people in the United States had co-occurring disorders, such as depression and substance use disorder. People with depression have a much higher risk of developing an alcohol or substance use disorder.

Untangling co-occurring disorders can be a complex process, but it’s necessary. Without treatment, people with both a substance use disorder and depression are at risk of many other health problems, as well as homelessness or early death.

Untreated depression raises your risk of suicide

Depression is one of the main risk factors for suicide, according to the National Institutes for Mental Health. Suicide is a serious and tragic public health concern, and it’s often preventable.

One of the most important ways to reduce the risk of suicide in people with depression is getting treatment for depression. Some of the warning signs of suicide to watch for in yourself or in a loved one include:

If you think you may have untreated depression, book an appointment online or by phone with the experts at Apex Medical Center in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada, to discuss treatment options that are available.




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