What Happens When Depression Goes Untreated?

sad woman sitting alone

Clinical depression is a serious medical condition, but many people often assume it is just a phase that will pass on its own. Depression is more than passing sadness, however. It is caused by physical imbalances in the brain that cause feelings of worthlessness, sadness, anger, guilt, or hopelessness. Along with these feelings, there may be a number of other symptoms that can worsen significantly without treatment. Here is a closer look at the effects that may result from prolonging depression treatment .

Poor Diet and Sleep Patterns

For some people, depression may lead to overeating, while others may have no appetite at all. Sleep may be affected similarly with some depression patients sleeping far too much and others suffering from insomnia. In any situation where sleep and diet are affected, individuals with depression may experience a number of side effects such as a higher risk for heart disease or significant changes in body weight.

Increased Chances of Self-Destructive Behavior

Depression has a high risk for suicide , substance abuse, and other destructive behaviors, which may only become more of a problem as depression goes untreated. If a loved one is struggling with depression, any talk of suicide or self-harm should be taken seriously and met with psychological care.

Physical Depression Symptoms

Many people do not realize that symptoms like headaches, heartburn, chronic pain, or digestive issues can all be the result of depression. Men tend to ignore these symptoms more frequently than women, so they are overall less likely to seek treatment for depression without the encouragement of a spouse or relative.

To learn where you can find the right treatment for depression, call Southern Hills Hospital’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line 24/7. You can also connect with us online to explore our behavioral care for older adults offered through RISE Behavioral Health. 

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