It all started when you realized that you were tired every day. At first, you just didn’t feel great, mentally or physically. Not horrible, just not great. As time went on things that used to make you happy stopped doing so. Your appetite changed, you had less motivation, and you felt apathetic constantly. At some point, you or someone close to you realized that you were experiencing depression. But why is depression so dangerous?
Interfering with Life
One of the dangers that doesn’t get enough attention is how much depression can interfere with your daily life. At first, you’re able to show up for your life but you lack motivation and drive to do more than the bare minimum. Eventually, it leads to missed days of school and work that can lead to serious consequences. You begin to feel like even the most basic of daily tasks are insurmountable. Depression can damage family, romantic, and friend relationships especially if the people in your life don’t understand what is going on. Yet with early diagnosis and treatment for depression, many of these negative impacts can be avoided,
It’s not just that you are less active and sleeping more. Nor is it about the fact that you might have more cravings and eat more junk food when you are depressed. Your body’s metabolism actually slows down, causing you to gain weight. You might also experience physical pain and lethargy as a result of your depression, making it difficult to get physical activity in.
Most adolescents can afford to gain a little weight without too many health risks. But unfortunately, obesity itself is an increasing problem and if weight gain continues it can lead to serious health problems. Treatment for depression is essential in preventing this from becoming a lasting issue. If you find a treatment that works for you many of the symptoms that lead to weight gain can be managed and motivation may return to help aid in losing any excess.
Other Health Risks
Depression has so many chronic physical symptoms, but one of the most difficult to deal with is insomnia. Surprisingly insomnia can lead to many other health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. Sleep deprivation caused by insomnia creates a vicious cycle where lack of proper sleep causes additional mental health issues and those issues create more insomnia and so on. There are also risks of gastrointestinal issues related to depression, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.) Women with depression are also linked to increased risks of osteoporosis.
One very big health risk linked to depression is heart disease. This includes significant numbers of people with heart failure or coronary heart disease. Also, depression is a very common cause for substance use, which creates another whole set of problems both mentally and physically.
Depression can be also be caused by chronic health problems. Again, this creates a vicious cycle, because depression will worsen the symptoms of those problems and vice versa. Some of these chronic health conditions include cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Lupus, and Rheumatoid arthritis. Even when these conditions improve with treatment, the depression can linger on if it is untreated.
Suicide takes thousands of lives annually. Early treatment of depression cuts down the risks exponentially. In addition to early treatment, if it gets so bad that suicidal thoughts occur, you can call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. The people who answer know how to help you find the help you need if it gets that serious. Suicidal ideation is a common symptom of depression, early recognition and treatment can prevent these pervasive thoughts.
Missing Out on Your Life
Depression robs you of your life. You miss out on so much, whether it be school or work, or the fun things in life like family or friends. Even if you physically show up for life, when you are battling depression you are often incapable of being emotionally or mentally present. Depression also robs you of your ability to enjoy things you are mentally present for, most who suffer from depression no longer find joy in the things the did before.
Depression can also cause forgetfulness and a tendency to blackout during stressful events. If you’re at a social gathering and the pain of having to keep up a happy exterior becomes too great your mind steps out as a coping mechanism. If you have a family this can cause harm, as you may not be able to be truly present for the people in your life. The strain these symptoms can cause on relationships only leads to more challenges, which is which is why early treatment and intervention are so important.
Why is depression so dangerous? It can impact your mental and physical health. Depression can not only interfere with your life in terms of work and school, but also family and other relationships. Depression leaves a gaping hole where your presence in your life should be, and at it’s most dangerous it puts you at significant risk for suicide. Your life is worth healing and you deserve to feel joy again. Call for help with your depression today. The life you save will be your own.
This article is for informational purposes only and not to be considered medical advice. If you’re having a mental health emergency, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for immediate support by calling, texting, or chatting 988. You can also text HOME to 741741 -the Crisis Text Line- from anywhere in the country to talk with a trained crisis counselor.
Embark is the most trusted name in teen and young adult mental health treatment. We’re driven to find the help you need. If you’re looking for support, contact us today!