Category: Depression

Can Depression Make You Sick?

When someone develops depression, they sometimes also experience symptoms of poor physical health. However, all too often, the person does not make a connection between the two situations. Can depression make you sick? It absolutely can. Mental health affects physical health and vice versa. When a person seeks effective help to improve their depression, they often find symptoms of poor physical health begin to improve.

Novu Wellness in Atlanta recognizes the correlation between these two situations. As a result, we developed a depression treatment program that helps people feel better mentally and physically. If you or a loved one are looking for depression treatment, call us now at 706-740-9005 or verify your insurance now.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder also known by the name major depressive disorder. Someone who has depression will experience periods of deep sadness, sorrow, and a loss of hope they cannot escape. Sometimes depression can be tied to a specific event, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or something else. Other times, there is no clear cause for why it developed.

Depression causes a person to stop enjoying their lives and feel unable to control their emotions. Their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all negatively impacted by their condition. Those around them may think the person just has “the blues” and it will pass, but depression can last a lifetime if left untreated. 

What are the Physical Symptoms of Depression?

All too many people believe that the answer to “Can depression make you sick?” is no. Actually, depression can manifest in physical symptoms related to poor health. People who have depression, their loved ones, and even some physicians, often do not explore the correlation between medical symptoms and feeling depressed. 

Common physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Change in weight
  • Change in appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Sleeping too much
  • Insomnia
  • Consistently feeling tired
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakened immune system
  • Stroke
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
  • Chronic pain

How Does Poor Mental Health Impact Your Physical Health?

Part of understanding how depression can make you sick involves understanding how the body turns an emotional reaction into physical ones. When someone experiences uncontrollable stress hormones, such as those that come with depression, it can weaken their immune systems. When this happens, the individual becomes more likely to succumb to illnesses.

Depression can also have an extended physical impact related to the digestive system. For example, a person might develop indigestion and not tie it to their depressed feelings. From there, they may not eat enough or they eat unhealthy, high-calorie foods to feel better. In turn, they may develop diarrhea or constipation, and end up gaining or losing weight. For many, depression causes a disturbance in their sleep patterns. Treatment may include prescription medications and other approaches that ultimately are only addressing a symptom of depression, rather than the illness itself. 

A medical provider who is unaware of a person’s depression often approaches physical problems as a singular problem not related to emotions. This can cause a person to undergo examinations, and treatments, and to take medications that do not address the real issue. This prolongs diagnosing the depression and working to heal the specifics of this mental health disorder. It can also put a person through exhausting and expensive attempts to heal only their physical health while ignoring their mental health. 

How is Depression Treated?

Once people understand that depression can make you sick, the next concern is what options are available to treat this mental illness. For some people, residential treatment works best as an initial approach to treating depression. For others, outpatient care fits the bill or serves as an effective second line of treatment after completing residential care. The person attends sessions during the day but is not required to move into a facility. 

Outpatient treatment for depression includes these options:

  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): These take place several days per week for a few hours per day. 
  • Virtual IOP: This option allows people to receive the same valuable treatment of regular IOP from the privacy of their homes via an internet connection.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): This takes place five or more days per week for several hours per day and involves much of the treatment approaches used in residential treatment.

Prescription medications provide highly effective results for many people who struggle with depression. Our team works with each person to find the right prescription medication for their specific needs. From there, we can monitor them for results and any needed changes in the type of drug or dosage. A combination of a schedule of evidence-based therapies and medications helps people learn to minimize their symptoms and, when possible, overcome the disease altogether.

Get Help for Depression in Atlanta Today

Are you dealing with depression and wondering if it could be part of the reason your physical health has declined? If you are wondering, “Can depression make you sick?”, we can help you answer that question. Novu Wellness in Atlanta offers intensive treatment for people struggling with depression and other mental health disorders.

We offer different levels of outpatient care that help people minimize the symptoms of depression and live happier, less stressful lives. Our experienced staff of mental health experts helps you set and achieve goals that keep depression from running your life.

Do you feel ready to address the impact depression has on your life and get effective help? Visit our admissions page now and let us show you a way out of the darkness.

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Is Depression Contagious?

At first glance, the question “Is depression contagious?” might seem almost nonsensical. After all, depression lacks the physical manifestations typically associated with communicable diseases. Yet, depression being contagious gains depth and relevance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this global crisis, a significant uptick in mental health issues was observed. For instance, a study published in The Lancet revealed a 25% increase in the prevalence of depression worldwide in 2020, underscoring the profound impact of societal and environmental stressors on mental health.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, our depression treatment may be able to help. Call us now at 706-740-9005 or verify your insurance.

What is Depression?

Depression, clinically known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is far more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. Depression is a serious mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. These symptoms must persist for at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression. Depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background, and its causes are a complex interplay of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

How Does Depression Develop?

The development of depression is multifaceted and unique to each individual. It can stem from genetic vulnerabilities, imbalances in brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, traumatic life events, chronic stress, or medical conditions. These factors can interact in complex ways, making the precise cause of depression often difficult to pinpoint.

In addition, depression frequently coexists with several other mental health disorders, indicating a higher rate of comorbidity. This means that individuals suffering from depression often simultaneously experience other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and substance use disorders.

Is Depression Contagious: Can You “Catch” Depression?

No, you cannot “catch” depression in the same way you would a cold or the flu. However, those that suffer from depression typically have a significant impact on those most close to them. Studies suggest that, particularly in close relationships, symptoms of depression can be mirrored or internalized by partners, family members, or close friends, leading to a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “emotional contagion.”

What Does Depression Do To The Brain?

Depression can cause real, tangible changes in the brain. Research has shown that it can alter the brain’s structure and function. For example, the hippocampus, known for its role in memory formation, can shrink in those with prolonged depression. This shrinkage is linked to the impaired cognitive functions often reported in depression including reduced concentration, impaired memory, and lower processing speed. Depression can also affect the brain’s neurotransmitter systems, disrupting the balance needed for mood regulation.

How is Depression Treated?

While depression is not known to be contagious, getting help for depression is possible. Depression treatment can exist in a variety of forms in multiple types of intensities depending on the severity of the disorder.

Inpatient Depression Treatment

Inpatient depression treatment offers round-the-clock care where individuals reside at a treatment center. This environment provides a safe space free from external stressors where individuals can focus intensely on their recovery. Inpatient programs typically include a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, and, where necessary, medication management. The goal is to stabilize the patient’s condition and lay a foundation for long-term recovery

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A Partial Hospitalization Program or PHP, is an outpatient form of rehab where individuals go to a treatment center during the day and return either to home or a structured, supportive living environment at night. This level of care is intense and can be an alternative to inpatient treatment for some. Treatment includes group therapy, holistic therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and more.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive Outpatient Programs require attendance for a minimum of three hours per day for several days a week. They are designed for those who need more support than traditional outpatient therapy but less than PHP. Typically Intensive Outpatient Programming includes group therapy, psychiatry, and individual therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy specifically formulated to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, and it has proven effective in treating depression. DBT emphasizes the development of skills in mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. This approach helps individuals understand and manage their emotions better and improve relationships and personal coping strategies.

Psychiatry

Psychiatry often plays a critical role in managing depression, particularly when medications are involved. Psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressants, adjust dosages, and monitor side effects, ensuring that the pharmacological aspect of treatment is tailored to what the client needs.

Find Depression Treatment in Georgia Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of depression, the first step is to reach out for help. Remember, depression is not a sign of weakness, but a treatable medical condition. At Novu Wellness, our mental health treatment programs in Georgia can help you today.

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