How Does Depression Affect the Brain and Body? 

Depression is a condition that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world.

It is common to be depressed and not know you are suffering from a serious mental illness. Depression is a condition that expresses in more ways than just a day or two feeling sad or down. It affects the physical aspects of both the brain and the body.

Depression influences the hippocampus, the pre-frontal cortex, and the amygdala

All areas of the brain are affected by depression. Even mild depression can cause the hippocampus to raise its cortisol levels which impedes the development of neurons in the brain. Cortisol, s stress hormone, causes shrinkage of brain circuits which causes the flight or fight area of the brain, the amygdala to enlarge. In addition, the pre-frontal cortex also goes into overdrive. When a person is depressed, the amygdala and pre-frontal cortex work against each other. The pre-frontal cortex is the “me center” which reacts to stress, while the amygdala is the fear center which, during depression responds to dangers that are only in your mind.

Physical symptoms

The tendency among humans is to separate mind and body. But that is impossible. What effects the brain also effects the body. Depression, if unacknowledged and left untreated can lead to physical symptoms. Everyone experiences depression differently. Feelings of sadness and emptiness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities can make it difficult to get out of bed. It can lead to muscle aches, headaches, back pain, changes in appetite and a variety of pain that may not respond to medication. In some cases, it also has an effect that exhibits as neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Depression also can affect the appetite. Some people cannot eat at all, while others may overeat. A dependency on alcohol and drugs has also been closely linked to depression.

Telltale Signs of Depression Many People Experience:

  • Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
  • Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation
  • Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
  • Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite, chronic aches
  • Cognitive: lack of concentration or slowness in activity
  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss
  • Also common: poor appetite, repeatedly going over thoughts, or thoughts of suicide

If you think you may be experiencing depression, and may need to find a counselor for depression in Cypress, TX, you’re not alone…

Most people have experienced depressive states in the past three years due to the pandemic. Many people have sought help because they are so unaccustomed to feeling listless, disinterested, unmotivated and sad. No matter how you may be experiencing depression nor for how long, it is possible to feel optimistic and alive again. To begin your journey of healing and empowerment, you can call me at 281-944-SWCC for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I look forward to working with you!

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