Depression can be debilitating and prevent you from functioning properly in your daily life. It can also affect your immune system, which makes it harder to fight off infections and illnesses. The close connection between depression and the immune system makes sense because diet, sleep, social factors and stress can negatively influence your immune health. Some of the classic symptoms of depression include changes in sleep patterns and appetite, social isolation, and stress.
What is the link between depression and the immune system?
There are various possible links between depression and the immune system.
- Depression could weaken the immune system and cause increased vulnerability to illness.
- Major or long-term illnesses may play a part in causing mood disorders, such as depression.
- Some illnesses could also be caused by the same triggers as depression.
There are a variety of treatments available such as counseling, behavioral therapy and antidepressant medications. However, when facing mental health conditions like depression, it can be difficult to get motivated to seek treatment.
IV therapy is a new and upcoming treatment that is showing promise in many different areas, such as boosting the immune system and elevating mood. For IV therapy in Concord NC , get in touch with companies like Drip Hydration, Infinite IV, and Hydrate Medical that send certified nurses to a person’s home to administer an infusion.
Are depressed people more susceptible to illness?
Those who struggle with depression may be more susceptible to illness than others. Depression is commonly known to cause a lack of energy, which could result in individuals making poor choices like not exercising and eating sugary foods. This could result in increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Illness from severe infections also seems to occur more in people with mood disorders than others, and hospital visits due to an autoimmune disorder have shown to be a marker in various studies for greater risk of mood disorders like depression. Disorders like lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease can cause abnormal immune system activity. The long-term pain and disability from such disorders can also result in depression.
Treatment for depression
Treatment for depression usually consists of therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Medication can help normalize brain changes associated with depression while therapy will help you to start challenging negative thoughts. When you’re depressed, your thoughts can spiral out of control. A therapist will give you advice that you can practice to help you to change your attitude and behavior.
In addition to these, there are some actions you can take to help yourself get better.
A daily schedule: Depression can strip away the structure from your life. Setting a daily schedule can help you to get back on track and help stop one day from blurring into the next. Very small goals, like making the bed every day, can help to make you feel a little better, and you can slowly add more challenging goals.
Exercise: Most people who are depressed don’t feel like exercising, but doing even a small amount can make you feel better temporarily by releasing endorphins (the “feel-good” chemicals). Regular exercise, like taking a short walk each day, can help start rewiring the brain.
Diet: There is no magic diet that can fix depression. However, if you tend to overeat comfort foods to make yourself feel better, you will know this only makes you feel worse. Getting control of your eating will make you feel better. Additionally, eating foods with omega-3s or folic acid may help ease depression.
Sleep: Depression can either make you sleep too much or cause difficulty in getting to sleep. This can make your depression worse. Start by trying to make some lifestyle changes like getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Try not to nap, and make sure to remove all distractions from your bedroom. Alcohol and drugs: People who struggle with depression often misuse alcohol or drugs to deal with the symptoms. It is not clear whether drinking and using drugs cause depression, but long-term use can change the way your brain works and lead to mental health issues. It is best to avoid alcohol and drugs if you are depressed.
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