Depression is a severe type of mental illness that affects a patient’s emotional and physical well-being. Consequently, the affected individual feels overwhelmed and unable to relish their daily life.
Depressive individuals exhibit a range of symptoms with varying intensity. As such, they are feeling downhearted, lethargic, and remorseful. Most often, individuals are unable to concentrate and consider life worthless. In severe cases, depression engulfs individuals to the point of wounding themselves or even ending their lives. It also affects the patient’s sleep and appetite patterns.
At this point, one must be wondering what stimulates the onset of depression. Although it is difficult to pinpoint a specific cause, there can be several possibilities. For instance, various forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, and psychological, make individuals prone to depression. Childhood traumas, personal problems, ad unpleasant happenings may also trigger the incidence of depression.
In some cases, genetic history increases the probability of depression. Often, it runs in parallel with severe medical conditions. Irrespective of the reason behind it, depression is a curable ailment. However, complications of overlooked depression can be hazardous for the patient’s well-being.
The following passages unravel some of the impediments of untreated depression.
- Higher likelihood of self-harm
The overwhelming nature of depression intrudes standard thought processing where individuals deliberately attempt to harm themselves. Depressed individuals consider injuring as an alternative to deal with anger, emotional pain, and even helplessness. Undeniably, untreated depression increases the recurrence and intensity of such actions.
Over time, patients reach the point of destroying themselves. However, the unpleasant sequence of events is breakable through medical intervention. For instance, psychological and behavioral therapy can pacify depressed individuals through counseling. The behavioral analysts and therapists can design customized treatment regimes to handle the condition. For example, intramuscular ketamine treatment has been one of the most efficient treatments in recent times.
At this point, one must be speculating that what does a behavior analyst do to prevent the progression of a patient’s depression to a devastating stage? Precisely, analyzing inflicting actions, minimizing their occurrence, and instilling adaptive behavior comes under the core responsibilities of a behavioral analyst.
It is evident that self-harm only leads to worsening of the condition. Therefore, affected patients should seek proper and timely treatment, where family members can also play a vital role. With their assistance and sympathy, patients can adapt to behavioral changes and abandon self-inflicting thoughts.
- Disruption in sleep and appetite
Among the most common physical symptoms of depression include irregular sleep and appetite patterns. As such, depressed individuals have an unbalanced sleeping routine. Sleeping irregularities constitute suffering from insomnia, delaying sleep, or oversleeping. Irregular sleep disturbs gastrointestinal activities, causing bloating, constipation, stomach ache, and lower food cravings.
On the other hand, sleep irregularities can have direct consequences for the appetite routine. Clinical studies suggest that insomnia triggers an imbalance of hormones associated with appetite and hunger, such as leptin and ghrelin. A higher level of leptin and ghrelin, respectively, makes individuals feel satiated and hungry.
In addition, fewer hours of sleep increase the likelihood of consuming more food as the person stays awake for a longer duration. In the end, prolonged abnormalities in eating habits can lead to conditions like obesity and weight loss. Similarly, chronic diseases like diabetes are also possible.
- Impact on the cardiovascular system
Depression poses a direct threat to heart health because depressed individuals often carry on an inactive lifestyle. They are less focused on making healthy choices, which can multiply challenges for cardiac health.
Chronic anxiety is directly associated with elevated blood pressure and creates viable conditions for various cardiovascular illnesses. For instance, inadequate sleep impairs the heart’s functions. Sleeplessness reduces the flexibility of the arteries and eases plaque formation, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
In addition, depressed patients can suffer from irregular cardia rhythms, arterial damage, and other coronary diseases.
Thus, it is crucial to observe apparent symptoms of depression and anxiety. Ignoring physical signs over time can severely hinder the normal functions of the heart and even cause irreparable damage.
- Compromised immune system
The immune system is an inherent protection mechanism against external attacks, including bacterial, viral, and other hostile invasions. There is substantial evidence on the correlation between depression and a compromised immune system. The most basic contributor is a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, which damages immunity.
Specifically, depression interferes with the secretion of hormones that influence various functions of the immune system. For instance, depression-induced irregularities in the production of adrenaline hormone disturb immunes systems’ preparedness and readiness in fight or flight situations.
Lymphocytes or white blood cells play a crucial role in determining a specific immune response against a particular disease. Likewise, depression modifies cytokines secretion, which signals replication and survival of lymphocyte cells. Such penetrated interferences subsequently disturb several other functions of the body.
Eventually, a compromised immune system promotes the onset of various conditions, such as metabolic illnesses, infections, and even malignancies. Hence, ignoring a variety of such complications can prove fatal for the patient’s well-being.
- Consequences for social and professional life
Depression has the potential to modify a patient’s outlook towards life. There are visible signs of disturbances in professional and personal life.
Once an outgoing person suddenly feels isolated and pessimistic. Depressed individuals tend to evade social interaction and even minimize engagement with loved ones. Sometimes, patients abandon their work or let themselves be overly consumed.
In the long run, an unstable emotional and behavioral attitude can prove toxic for various aspects of a patient’s life. In addition, patients are likely to demonstrate reckless and immature behavior, such as drug addiction, offensive language, and smoking. Such changes in return can intensify depression-related complications, creating a vicious cycle-like situation.
Indeed, a variety of mental conditions do not receive much-needed attention and therapy. Often, gloominess and unhappiness are associated with abnormalities of the daily routine. If the consistency and severity of mood swings increase, it can be an indication of attention-demanding complications.
Hence, overlooking severe illnesses like depression can result in dangerous outcomes for the affected person. There are several reasons for depression, such as environmental pressure, chronic ailments, and genetic history.
Irrespective of the causes, depression is a severe psychological disorder. In the long run, its impact is devastating for physical and mental health. Precisely, it has the potential to influence vital functions of the entire body.