Depression is More Than a Mental Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 6.7 percent of adults in the United States have depression. Major depression is also called major depressive illness or clinical depression. Major depression is a serious medical condition that has a dramatic effect on your quality of life. Depression is more than a mental disorder as it affects the whole body, affecting one’s physical health and well-being.

Research Shows Depression as Systemic Disease

Science Daily reports in a research article released March 2016 that depression causes alterations in the body’s reaction to stress with such wide ranging effects that it needs to be considered a systemic disease that affects the whole person’s physical health and mental health. Research has shown the significant association depression has with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and early mortality. Research may also be useful in finding new therapeutic means for the prevention and treatment of the disorder and disease.

Treatment Lowers Risk of Systemic Disease

Harvard Medical School’s study of depression and the link to physical health concerns show that recurrence of cardiovascular problems is linked more closely to depression than to smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Left untreated, depression raises the risk of dying after a heart attack. In addition, depression and stress may affect one’s immune system making your body more vulnerable to development of infections and other diseases. Treatment does bring health issues back into normal ranges.

Effects on the Body

While depression is a mental disorder, but it can also impact on your physical health in the following ways:

  • Cognitive Changes (inability to concentrate, memory issues, decision making issues)
  • Weight Problems (over-eating, binging, poor appetite, digestive problems, cramps)
  • Constricted Blood Vessels (increased blood pressure and cardiovascular stress)
  • Weakened Immune System (increased susceptibility to infections and diseases)
  • Aches and Pains (headaches, chronic body aches, pain that does not respond to meds)
  • Heart Attack Outcome
  • Overwhelming Fatigue
  • Insomnia (altered sleeping patterns)

Health Evaluation

Call the area’s psychiatrist who not only has decades of experience in treating depression, but the psychiatrist who is up-to-date on new research data and in treating the body as a whole. Treat your depression and health issues to bring good health and happiness back into your life. Call the office for a confidential appointment.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

View posts by Darvin Hege