By now, we should know that depression is more than just a head-based thing.
It can lead to some very physical symptoms, from fatigue and nausea to migraines and insomnia.
One new study, though, has proven that the impact our mental health has on our physical self is more drastic than previously thought – in some cases, it can even be fatal.
Researchers at the University of Grenada have proven that depression affects the entire body.
Analysing 29 previous studies, they found depression severely altered the body’s detoxifying functions – something which, if left unchecked, could lead to serious disease and even early death.
When assessing the 3,961 people involved in the study, experts found consistent evidence that the body’s oxidative stress levels – the imbalance in the body which prevents it from flushing out toxic substances – were severely affected by patients’ depression.
Antioxidants such as uric acid, zinc and dismutase enzyme decreased amongst those suffering from depression, while oxidative stress levels parameters such as malondialdehyde increased.
The (somewhat) good news it that researchers believe that these physical effects can be tempered through traditional methods of mental healthcare – be that medication or therapy.
Look after your head and you’ll look after your whole body.