Depression often affects people during periods of change in their lives. The effects of depression on pregnancy include lower birthrates and preterm labor.1Babies born to depressed mothers also show.
- Increased irritability
- Less activity
- Less attentiveness
- Fewer facial expressions
The most serious effect of depression is a suicide attempt or completion. Up to 15% of people with affective disorders, like depression, commit suicide.
Physical Effects of Depression
The physical effects of depression impact the brain, heart and other parts of the body. Research shows that depression negatively affects the brain. A decrease in brain volume is one of the most disturbing side effects of depression. Fortunately,antidepressants appear to be able to reverse this brain volume loss.3
Depression and pain are also inter-related. .
Long-term depression is also known to negatively impact the heart. Depression causes inappropriate release of adrenaline which, over time, damages the cardiovascular system. An increase in artery and blood vessel stress are further health effects of depression. This can increase the risk of blood clots and heart attack.The effects of depression cause an overall increase in mortality, where those with depression may die 25 years sooner than the average person. This is thought to be due to both the physical and social side effects of depression.
Social Effects of Depression
In addition to the health effects of depression, patients experience social effects as well. The social effects of depression change how a person functions in the world and their relationship with others. Social effects of depression include:
- Substance use and abuse
- Social and family withdrawal
- Decreased performance at work or school