How Does Depression Affect your Health?

Ask a Doctor

My husband was just diagnosed with severe clinical depression. I’m very worried because we’re both older. He already has a history of heart disease. Can depression worsen medical conditions? How does depression affect your health?

Doctor’s Response

Depression doesn’t just mean a depressed mood and feeling sad or hopeless. There are also some real physical symptoms that accompany depression, such as:

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep problemsinsomnia or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems with no clear cause and that do not improve with symptomatic treatment

People who are depressed also tend to be more likely to be smokers. In addition, depression can cause people to make unhealthy dietary choices or to skip exercise.


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Jeffrey M Lyness, MD. Patient education: Depression in adults (Beyond the Basics).
13 June 2017. 14 November 2018

Mental Health Conditions: Depression and Anxiety.
23 April 2018. 14 November 2018