Ketamine Treatment Center | 703-844-0184 | Ketamine for Depression | Fairfax, Va 22304 | Loudon County, Va | Alexandria, Va | NOVA Health Recovery 

Ketamine Treatment Center | 703-844-0184 | Ketamine for Depression | Fairfax, Va 22304 | Loudon County, Va | Alexandria, Va | NOVA Health Recovery


Mental Health Links:



The Effects of Depression in Your Body

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, affecting about 26 percent of adults. Depression is technically a mental disorder, but it also affects your physical health and well-being. Learn more about some of the most common symptoms of depression, as well as how depression can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

Effects of depressionShare on Pinterest

Feeling sad or anxious at times is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last more than two weeks they could be symptoms of depression. It’s estimated that each year 17 million American adults will experience depression. However, clinical depression, especially left untreated, can interrupt your day-to-day life and cause a ripple effect of additional symptoms.

Depression affects how you feel and can also cause changes in your body. Major depression (a more advanced form of depression) is considered a serious medical condition that may have a dramatic effect on your quality of life.

Central nervous system

Depression can cause a lot of symptoms within the central nervous system, many of which are easy to dismiss or ignore.

Older adults may also have difficulty identifying cognitive changes because it’s easy to dismiss the signs of depression as related to “getting older.” According to the American Psychological Association, older adults with depression have more difficulties with memory loss and reaction time during everyday activities compared with younger adults with depression.

Symptoms of depression include overwhelming sadness, grief, and a sense of guilt. It may be described as a feeling of emptiness or hopelessness. Some people may find it difficult to put these feelings into words. It may also be difficult for them to understand as symptoms can manifest and cause physical reactions. Frequent episodes of crying may be a symptom of depression, although not everyone who is depressed cries.

You may also feel tired all the time or have trouble sleeping at night. Other symptoms include: irritability, anger, and loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure, including sex. Depression can cause headaches, chronic body aches, and pain that may not respond to medication. It’s also sometimes an effect of certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s diseaseepilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

People with depression may have trouble maintaining a normal work schedule or fulfilling social obligations. This could be due to symptoms such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, and difficulty making decisions.

Some people who are depressed may turn to alcohol or drugs, which may increase instances of reckless or abusive behavior. Someone with depression may consciously avoid talking about it or try to mask the problem. People experiencing depression may also find themselves preoccupied with thoughts of death or hurting themselves.

While there’s a 25 times greater risk of suicide, even during the recovery process, the American Association of Suicidology reports that treatment for depression is effective 60 to 80 percent of time.

Symptoms in children

Depression may be more difficult to detect in children who can’t articulate their symptoms. Behaviors you may want to look out for include persistent clinginess, worry, and unwillingness to attend school without improvement over time. Children may also be excessively irritable and negative.

Digestive system

While depression is often thought of as a mental illness, it also plays a heavy role in appetite and nutrition. Some people cope by overeating or bingeing. This can lead to weight gain and obesity-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes.

You may even lose your appetite entirely, or fail to eat the right amount of nutritious food. A sudden loss of interest in eating in older adults can lead to a condition called geriatric anorexia.

Eating problems can lead to symptoms that include:

  • stomachaches
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • malnutrition

These symptoms may not improve with medication if a person doesn’t eat the correct diet. Sweets and foods high in carbohydrates may provide immediate relief, but the effects are often temporary.

It’s important to maintain a healthy diet when experiencing depression. Nutrients are essential to making sure the body’s neurotransmitters are firing right. According to a study, the most common vitamin and nutritional deficiencies are.

  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • B vitamins
  • minerals
  • amino acids

Cardiovascular and immune systems

Depression and stress are closely related. Stress hormones speed heart rate and make blood vessels tighten, putting your body in a prolonged state of emergency. Over time, this can lead to heart disease.

Recurrence of cardiovascular problems is linked more closely to depression than to other conditions like:

  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol

Untreated, depression raises the risk of dying after a heart attack. Heart disease is also a trigger for depression. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that about 15 percent of people with heart disease also develop major depression.

Depression and stress may have a negative impact on the immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections and diseases. One review looked at studies and found that there seemed to be a relationship between inflammation and depression, although the exact connection is unclear. Inflammation is linked to many illnesses, such as stress. Some anti-inflammatory agents have shown to benefit some people with depression.

Suicide prevention

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Sources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

A Nutritional Guide to Managing Your MDD

major depressive disorderShare on Pinterest

Major depressive disorder (MDD) can have a huge impact on your life. You may lose interest in your favorite activities, have difficulty sleeping, or experience a change in appetite. Persistent sadness, irritability, and frustration can also change your relationships with family and friends, or interfere with your ability to concentrate at work or school.MDD, also known as clinical depression, is characterized by sadness that lasts for weeks or months. Some people find relief with treatment. But even with antidepressants and talk therapy, symptoms may linger.If you’re looking for an approach to supplement your current therapy, adding certain foods to your diet can make a difference. Although there’s no specific diet to relieve symptoms of MDD, some foods may provide a much-needed mood boost.

B vitamins

Low levels of vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and folate can increase the risk of depression. These vitamins affect mood and brain function. A deficiency may occur if you don’t consume enough food rich in B vitamins, or if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins. This can happen with digestive disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

Your doctor can test your vitamin B levels and, if necessary, recommend a vitamin B supplement. You should also modify your diet and include foods rich in these vitamins. Good sources of vitamin B include:

  • almonds
  • beet roots
  • dark, leafy greens
  • eggs
  • fish, poultry, and other lean meats
  • lentils
  • liver
  • low-fat or fat-free milk

Vitamin D

If you have MDD, you may be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to mood disorders. A simple blood test can diagnose a deficiency.

Depending on the severity of your deficiency, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter vitamin D supplements or give you a prescription for vitamin D. If you prefer not taking a supplement, eating the right foods may correct a deficiency.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for strong bones. So if you have a vitamin D deficiency, you may also experience other symptoms like unexplained aches and pains.

Because the sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, increasing the amount of time you spend outdoors can improve your mood and relieve symptoms of depression. If you can’t get outdoors, sit or work under a vitamin D light box for about 30 minutes a day. This box emits light that mimics natural sunlight.

In addition to these suggestions, eating more vitamin D-rich foods can have a positive impact on your mood. Good sources of vitamin D include:

  • beef liver
  • cereals
  • vitamin D-fortified dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese)
  • egg yolks
  • fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • portobello mushrooms
  • vitamin D-fortified orange juice

Omega-3 fatty acids

If you’re not eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, you may also have difficulty managing your depression symptoms. Fatty acids are essential to good health and offer several benefits. They can:

  • reduce inflammation
  • lower your risk of cancer
  • improve heart health
  • boost mood

Your body doesn’t naturally produce fatty acids. You receive these fats through food.

Mood swings and depression can occur if you have a deficiency. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • fatty fish (tuna, salmon, and sardines)
  • flaxseed
  • dark, leafy greens
  • soybeans
  • walnuts

Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids alone may not significantly improve depression. But you may see improvement if you eat omega-3 foods along with taking an antidepressant.

If you prefer an omega-3 supplement, talk to your doctor before combining a supplement with your prescription medication.


There’s also a link between low selenium levels and depression. Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant properties, so it can protect your body from cell damage. Because this mineral is also important to brain function, a deficiency can trigger low moods.

Taking a selenium supplement along with an antidepressant might help. You can also increase your intake of selenium through food. Good sources of selenium include:

  • brown or white rice
  • cheese
  • chia seeds
  • couscous
  • egg noodles
  • portobello mushrooms
  • poultry
  • seafood (tilapia, bass, oysters, salmon sardines, and crab)
  • sunflower seeds
  • whole wheat pasta
  • yogurt

Other tips

When you’re feeling down, you may crave junk foods to feel better. The good news is that you don’t have to feel guilty about reaching for a chocolate bar. Dark chocolate may improve depression. Chocolate increases the brain’s production of endorphins, which are hormones that affect mood.

However, it’s important to consume dark chocolate in moderation. Too much can raise your blood sugar and cause a sugar crash.

Be aware that alcohol and caffeine may worsen your symptoms. Some people turn to alcohol to numb the pain of depression and feel better. Alcohol is fine in moderation, but too much can reduce serotonin levels and increase anxiety and depression. Caffeine is also linked to lower serotonin levels.

The takeaway

Depression can be debilitating, but there are ways to improve your symptoms. You shouldn’t stop your current treatment unless advised by your doctor. You can, however, supplement your treatment by modifying your diet and adding mood-boosting foods. If it’s more convenient to correct a deficiency with a supplement, speak with your doctor first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017 NOVA Health Recovery LLC - Weight loss in Alexandria, weight loss in Fairfax, , Addiction recovery with Suboxone, Health Maintenance, Pain Management, and Ketamine Therapies in the Alexandria and Fairfax areas — Velux WordPress theme by GoDaddy