How Does Depression Affect Your Body?

Although depression is a mental health condition, how it affects your body proves the link between a mind-body connection. Learn more about these physical effects and how to work with your primary care or pain specialist to seek treatments that can improve

Depression is a common mental health disorder. An estimated 21% of the adult American population has experienced an episode qualifying as depression in the past year, or equal to 8.4% of the population.

Although depression is treatable, usually with a combination of medications and talk therapy, too many people still suffer in silence. Many people with depression also develop seemingly unrelated physical symptoms. The providers at Nurocoach explain more about how depression can affect your physical health, as well as your mental health.

The physical effects of depression

In some cases, we know untreated depression has a way of causing specific physical symptoms. For example, if you’re depressed, you might also be more likely to have chronic back pain. We know this because the neurotransmitters in your brain that cause depression make you more sensitive to pain.

Some of the physical effects of depression include the following:

  • Increased aches and pains, which account for about two in three people with depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Disorders related to sleep, such as insomnia, inability to feel rested, or oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in sex

Many of these complaints co-occur, which may increase the likelihood of receiving a diagnosis such as fibromyalgia. However, depression is still a symptom, even if you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or another cause of chronic pain.

How to get treatment for depression

Many people start with their primary care doctor or pain specialist for treatment, however; most of these practices don’t have time to provide therapy or have limited training on depression medications. In addition, a primary care doctor may refer you to a local mental health specialist who has a 6-8 week waiting period, sometimes longer. If you are in a rural location with shortages of mental health professionals, your wait could be months.

Your better option is to ask your primary care doctor, pain specialist, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner for a referral to Nurocoach. We believe in a holistic approach to mental health wellness. We will provide your referring specialist with updates on your treatment so they can focus on other conditions you may be receiving treatment for. We offer services to patients nationwide by telehealth, and we can also write prescriptions for you, no matter where you live.

You want to choose two main components for your wellness: talk therapy (also known as cognitive behavioral therapy) combined with medications. Numerous studies show the benefits of these two components in your long-term wellness plan. Taking medication alone has been shown to be much less effective which is why Nurocoach was created and proudly partners with other medical professionals to combine best practices for better mental health outcomes.

The benefits of therapy can be life-transforming. For example, you may learn to articulate your feelings better, set goals for yourself, and learn communication skills that help you advocate for your needs.

Pain and depression can impact your life simultaneously. If you’re feeling some of the physical effects of depression, know that there are options to work on both issues by seeking treatment for your depression in conjunction with your physical pain.

A referral is not necessary and most insurances are accepted so contact the providers at Nurocoach today or request an appointment online for a consultation with our locations across the nation via telehealth.