What is the impact of depression on the body?

We know when we have a condition because the body shows it. There is a toothache, when there is an infection, our joints ache and we go to the rheumatologist, our eyes bother us and we know that something is wrong with our vision But what does it feel like to have depression?

Ricardo Marcelo Corral, Psychiatrist and head of the Department of Teaching & Research at Hospital Bordaexplains to us what is the impact of depression on the body.

The first thing we should know is that we always confuse sadness and depression. The first of these is “a state of mind, natural, reactive to circumstances, expected and normal. However, in our language, we use the expression depression either I’m depressed. But sadness is not treated. What it is about is the disease of depression.” It is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, income, culture or educational level. “There is research that suggests that genetic, biological, environmental -the pandemic has been one, for example- and psychological factors play a role in depression,” explains Claudio Waisburg (@claudiowaisburg) Neuroscientist, Director of the SOMA Institute.

To be diagnosed with depression, “the person must present five symptoms of the disease every day, almost all day, for at least two weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, “says Waisburg.

Common physical symptoms of depression include:

In addition, psychic symptoms with feelings of:

Lack of physical activity and poor diet are risk factors for this disease. “We doctors must promote healthy behaviors: Physical activity done at different times of life, from children to the elderly, since it prevents and reduces the risk of depression,” explains Dr. Corral. For the specialist, it is essential to focus on quality of life. “It has to do with healthy behaviors and when there is an illness such as depression, it aims to improve their quality of life.”

Once the diagnosis of primary or psychiatric depressive disorder has been made, “always and in all international guidelines, the first indication is psychotherapy. In particular, the cognitive behavioral one that showed a very robust efficacy in improving mild to moderate depressive symptoms. But, when the patient does not respond to psychotherapy and the depression is moderate to severe, they switch to antidepressant medication. The set of both proved to be more effective than separate. In addition, healthy behaviors, exercise, eating well, improving circadian rhythms and improving your social, family and work relationships are essential.

One is well, as long as one is well with his environment. That is why “all this treatment has to be aligned so that the person is the best person that he can be, that he can develop his bonds as best as possible. It is a virtuous circle. Also, people who have a tendency to spirituality and religiosity, it is very useful because they are protective factors for both depression and suicide, “says Dr. Corral.

Dr. Waisburg notes that “once you start treatment, you should slowly begin to feel better. Don’t push yourself too hard during this time. Try to do things that you used to enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that can help are:

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