Recent findings from the World Health Organization (WHO) say depression is now the leading cause of illness and disability across the globe. And it’s linked to other disorders and diseases, including substance use disorder, according to WHO. People are wondering, what is the link between depression and poor health.
Between 2005 and 2015, the number of people living with depression rose 18 percent, jumping to 300 million people worldwide, according to researchers. Yet, despite these alarming figures, few seek treatment. That’s why on April 7, in celebration of World Health Day, WHO is urging you to talk about mental health. In fact, this year’s theme is “Depression: Let’s talk.” The goal is to stop the stigma and increase access to mental health treatment so folks can get the help they need and deserve.
“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign ‘Depression: let’s talk,’” Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said in a statement. “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”
How Are Depression and Poor Health Linked?
According to some experts, depression has been a predictor of poor health around the world. People who struggle with depression also may struggle with other problems. Why might that be? One example is your physical health. If you have depression, you most likely don’t have the will or energy to go out and exercise. Some people with depression forget to eat. Others may eat too much. In both cases, you’re setting yourself up for poor health. If you eat too much, you put yourself at risk for obesity, heart conditions, high blood pressure, and a host of other issues. Conversely, eating too little will cause problems fighting off diseases, anemia, and infertility.
Other links between depression and poor health include:
- Chronic pain
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Weight loss or weight gain
Spotting the Signs of Depression
Depression is much bigger than regular old sadness. It has mental and physical effects that can impact your daily life, job, relationships, and sobriety. Here are some common depression symptoms to look for.
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Physical pain
- Memory problems
- Social withdrawal
- Unexplained sadness
- Loss of interest in hobbies/activities
Do You Need Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?
Co-occurring conditions like depression may exist prior to substance use or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Red Oak Recovery Center has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance use. We treat a variety of addictions, including:
Depression robs you of the joy and satisfaction you used to have in life. Don’t let it take away your health as well. To learn more about the links between depression and poor health, call 828.382.9699 today to talk to an expert at Red Oak Recovery.