Depression Effects on Mental Health


Depression is a mental illness that disrupts normal life causing various health problems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 280 million people suffer from depression worldwide and more than 700,000 people commit suicide due to depression every year. (WHO, 2023)

What depression can do to the body is this paragraph’s main topic of discussion. Also, learn about the signs and actions of depression in children and adolescents.

What is depression?

In simple terms, depression is a long-term (two weeks or more) feeling down and not feeling happy or interested in anything.

Other symptoms of depression include lack of concentration, feeling weak and tired, negative thoughts, abnormal functioning, eating, and sleeping problems.

Effects of depression on the central nervous system

Depression has a detrimental effect on the central nervous system (brain). That is, it reduces the performance of the brain. For example, lack of attention to work, inability to think and make correct decisions, and memory loss.

Depression can lead to sleep problems. And without good sleep, fatigue does not go away. As a result, physical weakness is seen. Headaches and irritability may also occur.
Calories and nutrients needed by the body are obtained from food. Depression harms the digestive system.

Common digestive system problems due to depression are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, etc. It can also cause long-term complications called IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).

Abnormalities in food intake are seen in people with depression. For example: aversion to food and, in some cases, a tendency to take excessive food. Abnormalities related to food intake may lead to weight loss or gain.

Effects of depression on the heart

Heart disease is linked to depression. As a result of depression, the level of release of cortisol hormone increases in the body. As a result, blood pressure increases, which is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes.


Also, eating and sleeping disorders are seen in people suffering from depression. An unhealthy diet and poor sleep increase the risk of heart disease.

Effects of Depression on the Immune System

The body’s immune system must be strong to fight against disease and stay healthy. Sadly, depression weakens the immune system. As a result, it is easy to get sick.

People suffering from depression experience pain in the body (joints or muscles) for no apparent reason. Also, women with headaches have breast pain.

Effects on sexual health

People with depression experience a variety of sexual health problems, including decreased sexual desire. This holds for both genders, men and women.

Depression in children and adolescents

Like adults, children and adolescents are at risk of developing depression. However, since children and adolescents are not able to understand the symptoms of depression, it becomes difficult to diagnose depression.

The following are signs of depression in kids and teenagers:

  • To be upset
  • Aversion to food
  • Inattentive to studies
  • Does not want to mix with friends
  • Behavioral changes are seen
  • Gets angry or cries a little
  • Addiction to online gaming

What to do to avoid depression

Below is a summary of some of the ways children and adolescents can play a beneficial role in coping with depression.

Play sports outside

Nowadays, instead of playing outside, children and teenagers are seen spending time at home all the time on mobile or computer screens. This prevents the opportunity to play cooperatively with friends, which can be harmful to mental health.

Children and teenagers should develop the habit of playing sports with their friends on the playground near school or home for some time during the day. It will involve mental development along with physical exertion or exercise which is very beneficial for health.

Ensure good sleep

Children need relatively more sleep than adults. The bed should be comfortable with room temperature and light to ensure good sleep for the child.

I can’t sleep late at night. Make a habit of sleeping at the same time every night. Avoid using mobile phones while lying in bed at night.

Healthy eating habits

Diet is linked to mental health (depression). Children and adolescents are more likely to consume unhealthy foods. Especially the habit of eating fast food, soft drinks, and chips has harmful effects on health.

Healthy eating habits should be developed from childhood, especially home-cooked food. For example rice, bread, fish, meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Cultivate the right mindset

Positive thinking should be taught. Stay away from wrongdoing as much as possible.

Counseling should be provided in setting life goals for children and adolescents. A goal that cannot be achieved cannot be set. That is, it cannot be imposed an unreasonable burden

A sincere relationship should be maintained

Socializing with friends should be encouraged. Also, maintain cordial relations with family members and relatives. That is, there should be a relationship where children can share with the elders if they have any problems.

Final Words

Depression has serious detrimental effects on health. But hopefully, there are treatments for depression that can prevent physical problems. Psychiatrists should be consulted for treatment of depression. Also, for the treatment of physical problems related to depression, it may be necessary to take the advice of the doctor concerned.

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