depression and men's health

In most instances, depression and physical health are intertwined. When a man is depressed, pain experienced emotionally can cause physical problems and can be quite debilitating. Research has proven that individuals suffering from depression normally have physical health problems more so than those without depression.

When combined with other physical health issues, depression normally worsens their effects. For instance, when depression is combined with a physical health condition like heart disease, both of them can cause double the reduction in the patient's social interaction than if the patient had either condition alone.

Depression can complicate a patient's physical health assessment and management by overshadowing its symptoms. 

The reverse is also true, people suffering from physical health problems are more inclined towards having psychological distress than is the case with healthy people. Individuals with poor physical health have an increased probability of developing depression and this has been evidenced in the social and relationship issues that normally afflict patients with chronic health problems.

Physical problems are widespread in depression.

In most cases, physical aches and pains are normally the most common symptoms of depression. 

These physical symptoms may include back pain, limb pain, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, chronic joint pain and sleep problems. The relationship between depression and physical pain has deeper roots than a mere cause and effect relationship. 

The neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood and pain are serotonin and norepinephrine. An imbalance of these neurotransmitters is connected to both physical problems and depression.

For this reason, antidepressants that target the re-uptake of these hormones can be used as the first line treatment option in patients suffering from depression and have expressed symptoms of physical problems. Physical problems associated with major depression are common and may lead to chronic pain, thereby complicating treatment.

In a World Health Organization study of patients suffering from depression, the 1146 patients spread over 14 countries had 69 percent reporting somatic symptoms. Patients suffering from physical symptoms may have their depression misdiagnosed in the first place.

This is because the physical symptoms connected to depression may be interpreted as the symptoms of a somatic illness. As such, patients with several physical problems have higher cases of depression than those with fewer physical symptoms. 

In a recent study, patients who exhibited one or no physical symptom had a 2 percent chance of being diagnosed with depression. In contrast, those who exhibited 10 or more physical symptoms had a 60 percent chance of being diagnosed with depression.

In general, the more severe the depression is, the worse the physical symptoms. When physical problems present during depression, the duration of the depression is considerably lengthened.

If left untreated, depression has the potential of causing a lot of suffering. On the other hand, effective treatment can reduce the physical problems and enhance the overall quality of life. Treatment normally involves offering the patient the most effective and least intrusive intervention first. Moderate cases of depression can be treated through counseling and cognitive behavioral therapies.

This can be carried out either as a self-help program, individual or group therapies. The treatment of the depression does not have any direct impact on the physical problem. However, it can have positive effects on emotional and social functioning, as well as improving the perceived fatigue.

Do you feel like you struggle with depression? Are you feeling down much of the time and can’t really put your finger on the reasons why? Depression can start out as sadness, but if that sadness persists for weeks or months, it could have turned into depression and it could be affecting your health.

Good news is that depression is treatable, so if you feel like you’re struggling, reach out for some help.

Go ahead and talk to a counselor or see if you can find a support group that meets near you.  You may also want to see a nutritionists concerning your physical health.  Poor eating habits can lead to you feeling crummy physically and that can lead to depression as well. I’m sure you’ve felt lousy for a few days or more and noticed that it really affected your mood.

You can feel better both physically and mentally as you pursue treatment for your depression.  Go ahead and take the necessary steps to do so today.

Read more on depression and men's health.

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