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10 Physical Conditions Associated with Depression

Depression is a very common mental illness that affects millions of people all over the world. It’s marked by constant thoughts of sadness, hopelessness, and not being worth anything. Depression can also change how you sleep, what you want to eat, how much energy you have, and how well you can focus.

People often think of depression as a mental health problem, but it can also be caused by a physical problem. In fact, some health problems are more likely than others to cause depression. In this article, I flesh out the physical conditions associated with depression other than the physical and psychological brain.

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No. 1: Chronic pain

Did you know that dealing with constant physical discomfort can take a toll on your mental health, leading to depression? It’s tough to enjoy life when you’re in pain all the time, and it can make daily tasks challenging.

No. 2: Thyroid disorders

No one would take this easy that when your thyroid hormones are out of balance, it can mess with your brain function and mood. This hormonal disruption can contribute to the development of depression.

No.3: Diabetes

The last time I said this to someone, they got mad at me. I said managing diabetes can be stressful, and the impact it has on our blood sugar levels can affect our mood. The constant vigilance and lifestyle adjustments required can increase the risk of depression.

No. 4: Cardiovascular Disease

This got a lot of gym bros anxious. But you should know that dealing with heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions can be emotionally taxing. The burden of a chronic illness and the potential limitations it imposes can lead to depression.

No. 5: Autoimmune Disorders

I am sure you didn’t hear of this, but autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis involve chronic inflammation, which can affect your mood and increase the likelihood of experiencing depression.

No. 6: Cancer

Needless to say that battling cancer is an incredibly challenging experience, both physically and emotionally. The stress, uncertainty, and treatment side effects can trigger depression in individuals and among their carers too.

No. 7: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Some people living with chronic fatigue syndrome deal with persistent fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest. This exhaustion can impact daily activities and lead to depression which can interfere with the bio-psycho-social aspect of a person.

No. 8. Neurological Disorders

Listen, if you know of someone with disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, know that they are also dealing with mental health as these cause chemical imbalances in the brain. These imbalances can contribute to the development of depression alongside the physical symptoms.

No. 9. Chronic Insomnia

A lot of young people flex deep work at night, which is so unhealthy. These people suffer from chronic insomnia because, hey when you are sleepy on time, you have to sleep. So, those who don’t is because they can’t, and it disrupts their mood regulation. The ongoing sleep disturbances make it challenging to maintain a positive mental state, potentially leading to depression.

No. 10. Substance Abuse

Finally, I am not sorry to break this to you that using alcohol, drugs, or other substances can wreak havoc on your brain chemistry. The resulting chemical imbalances can lead to depressive symptoms and make it harder to break free from addiction.

The 10 physical conditions associated with depression discussed in this article need to be considered by any psychologist or psychiatrist before placing the concerned person on therapy or medication. A full body blood test and patient history need to be determined. People on the last legs of their lives or suffering from critical conditions need more compassion and therapy than medication.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be struggling with depression, please reach out for help. There are many resources available in India, including:

  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS): 080-26521000
  • The Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS): 011-23382491
  • The National Helpline for Mental Health: 1800-233-8255
  • The Crisis Intervention Centre, Mumbai: 022-24137777
  • The Samaritans, Kolkata: 033-24745672

Linda Ashok

Linda Ashok is an India English Poet & Polymath. She is a mental health advocate studying Psychology from IGNOU'25.