Effects & Side Effects of Depression

Depression is a grave medical condition that has its effects on the thoughts, mood and body as well. It literally affects the way a person feels about himself or herself, the way a person sleeps or eats and the way a person usually thinks about many other things. It gives you a signal that you are mentally unstable and needs treatment to get rid of the condition. Normally, people with this illness cannot pull themselves together and just get better. Well without proper treatment, people cannot get rid of the effects and side effects of depression. So, it is necessary to take help from experts whenever you understand and realize the symptoms of depression.

Experts categorize depression in many forms. Some of the types of depression includes chronic depression, major depressive disorder, maniac depression and atypical depression. Though there are some other types of depression too. Each type of depression affects the mind and body differently based on the intensity, frequency and the amount of time that it lasts. Let us know more about the effects and side effects of depression.

Effects & Side Effects of Depression

Effects of Depression

If you ever observe that you or somebody you know seems to be tired, has decreasing physical health or socially withdrawn then it is definitely an alarming sign because depression might be present as these are clear effects of depression. Though, there are some emotional and physical symptoms to determine which type of depression the person is effected with. Moreover, everyone should always go for official diagnosis before making any kind of decision. There are several symptoms and effects of depression given below but not everyone will have all these symptoms together. Well, let’s have a look:

  • Feelings:
    • Irritable
    • Guilty
    • Overwhelmed
    • Unhappy
    • Sad
    • Frustrated
    • Indecisive
    • Miserable
    • Lacking confidence
    • Disappointed.
  • Behavioral Effects of Depression:
    • Unable to concentrate
    • Not going anywhere
    • Not getting things done at school/work place
    • Not doing previously enjoyable activities
    • Relying on sedatives and alcohol.
  • Physical Effects of Depression:
    • Sleep problems
    • Change or loss of appetite
    • Tired
    • Muscle pains and headaches
    • Weight gain or loss
    • Churning out
    • Sick as well as run down.

Side Effects of Depression

Depression is something that affects a person both mentally and physically which is why it is important to go for a treatment as early as possible. Let us have a look at the side effects of depression and how depression ruins your life if you don’t want a medical checkup for getting rid of this.

Physical Side Effects of Depression:

There is increasing evidence that depression actually takes a severe toll particularly on the physical health. Moreover, researches show health as well as major depression have clear connection and can lead to coronary artery disease or stroke. Studies have explored that people with the major depression recover late from heart attacks or strokes. Not only this, they actually find it tough to follow the instructions of their doctors and also to cope with challenges. Another research found that the patients suffering from major depression usually have higher risk of death after getting a heart attack within the first few months. Beside heart attack, many serious conditions or illness can coexist with the depression such as cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s diseasearthritis etc.

Emotional Side Effects of Depression:

Depression can even have impression on emotions, feelings and mood as well. People with major depression often feel like they are not their old self. They consider themselves very much unwanted. Not only this, they become hopeless, nervous, negative in their thoughts and they also have bad temper, aggression etc which are the usual side effects of depression. People who deal with depression often withdraw themselves socially and when their depression reaches at the highest point, they also think of committing suicide.

Side Effects of Depression on Sleep:

One of the most common side effect or symptom of depression is nothing but a change particularly in the sleep patterns. However, the most common issue is definitely insomnia (getting inadequate sleep); sometimes people feel a maximum want for sleep and also experience extreme energy loss. Lack of sleep, however, can even cause few similar symptoms like depression such as difficulty in making decision or concentrating, excessive tiredness, and energy loss. Though some people tend to sleep more due to the side effects of depression.

Side Effects of Depression on Relationship:

Living with a person who is depressed all the time under the same roof is quite stressful and difficult especially for family members and friends. Often people with depression find it difficult to maintain any relationship due to their state of mind which can easily hamper any relationship. However, it is often very beneficial to have supporting family members who are truly involved in the treatment and evaluation of the patient. This also helps in faster recovery.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse as a Side Effect of Depression:

Drug and alcohol abuse are very much common among those people who suffer from clinical depression. They are specifically common among young and middle age and among teens. It is very much essential to encourage such people to get the proper assistance, because they have a tendency to attempt suicide. So, those people who suffer depression greatly and abuse alcohol or drug may require specialized treatment.

Self- Harming Behavior as a Side Effect of Depression:

Depression often poses high risk of suicide which is often a very real result of under- treated or untreated depression. Anyone who expresses his or her suicidal intentions or thoughts should be taken seriously. Do not feel ashamed or hesitate to call the local suicide hotline as soon as possible.

Do the Effects and Side Effects of Depression Vary in Men and Women?

Generally, men who suffer from untreated clinical depression may show more frustration, anger as well as violent behavior than a woman. Additionally, men with depression may even take dangerous risks like having unsafe sex or reckless driving. Men are generally not aware about the physical symptoms like digestive disorder, chronic pain, and headache can even be symptoms of depression. On the other hand, depression in a woman may occur earlier and last longer. At this time, women often experience feelings of guilt and also try to attempt suicide.

Side Effects of Depression during Pregnancy

The possible impact of the depression on pregnancy contains the following:

  • It can interfere with the woman’s capability to take care of herself during her pregnancy. She might be less capable to follow the proper medical recommendations and to eat and sleep properly.
  • Depression can even make the bonding difficult between mother and child.
  • It can lead a woman to use illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco that could harm her baby.

Prevalence and Frequency of Depression and its Side Effects

Depressive disorder touches approximately 15 million American adults or about 7% of U.S population experience depression every year. Depression can affect anyone and at any age. Major depressive disorder is predominant in women than men. Though the rate of occurrence of depression is so high, yet over 80% people with clinical depression are not under any specific treatment for curing depression. According to the study of Harvard, the actual number of patients identified with depression increases 20% per year approximately. As a result of depression, people face several physical and mental problems like heart attacks, strokes, headaches, nervousness, anxiety and bad temper etc.

When to Seek Help for Depression?

If you notice that you or your near one is experiencing the exact symptoms of depression for more than two weeks and it actually affects the personal and professional life as well as health then it could be a warning bell for you. If you think that you no longer enjoy those things that you used to or you start self- medicating yourself with alcohol and drug then wake up and go for expert’s supervision immediately.


The effects and side effects of depression can often be grave enough to cause overall deterioration of health. The most important thing which must be noted is even though people experience the symptoms, they are often neglected till conditions become very serious. It is thus very important to know the symptoms and also the side effects to be alert and seek help as soon as symptoms are noticed.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 6, 2018

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