Depression is much more than just a mental disorder.
It can cause physical symptoms which may cause lasting damage to the body because of both direct effects and indirect complications.
For instance, depression can change your appetite. It may trigger you to eat less and lose a significant amount of weight. Or it can cause you to eat more, leading to weight gain along with its associated health conditions.
You may also experience chronic pain because of persistent depression.
Unexplained aches and pains without any associated aetiology like headaches, back pain, or joint tenderness, can be triggered by depression. Although not fully understood, it may be that depression makes you less tolerant of pain, so that everything just hurts more.
Living with depression puts you at risk for serious physical health conditions, including heart disease and stroke. The reason for this may be that depression triggers an overproduction of clotting factors and variation in heart rate. Both these factors can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Gastrointestinal distress is a potential complication of depression. The gut actually has a major connection to mood and mental health and is sometimes referred to as the body's second brain. There are important receptors in the gut and an ecosystem of bacteria, which when out of whack can affect mood. If you are depressed, you may experience stomach aches, indigestion, nausea, cramps, or bloating.
Fatigue is a common symptom of depression, and one of the most consistent physical consequences of this mental illness. This lack of energy is beyond normal tiredness. It makes you feel apathetic, irritable, and like you just don't want to do anything. Just getting out of bed in the morning can feel insurmountable.
Sexual life may get hampered and the person may experience reduced desire or lack of libido.
Depression has the capability to affect the immune system of the person which in turn weakens and the person becomes more susceptible to diseases.
In this way, Depression can cause lot of changes in your body. Major depression (a more advanced form of depression) is considered a serious medical condition that may have a dramatic effect on your quality of life.