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How Depression and Anxiety Impact Your Physical Health

How Depression and Anxiety Impact Your Physical Health

Have you ever noticed how people love organizing things into specific categories? Like having one dresser drawer for socks, one for t-shirts, and another for underwear? 

Putting things into neat and tidy boxes can simplify many things in life, but that approach doesn’t really work when it comes to your mind and physical health. That’s because your body is a complex system, and all of its components are intricately linked.

It’s true that mental health issues can alter your moods and habits, impact your social life, and cloud your thoughts, but they don’t stop there. Mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety, can also affect your physical health. 

Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who can miss this connection; doctors can too. That’s why it’s crucial to look for the source of someone’s physical symptoms, instead of simply masking them with medications or pain relievers.

That’s what we do here at Central Clinic. Dr. Poonam Malhotra, our board-certified physician, takes an integrative, allopathic, and holistic approach to care. This comprehensive strategy means she takes the time to get to know you so she can provide care tailored to your unique needs. 

Similarly, Dr. Malhotra works to improve your overall physical and mental health with every treatment. She’s also particularly skilled at resolving unexplained symptoms like pain, especially when it’s related to mental health issues. 

The mental-physical health connection

No one likes being sick or injured. Not only do you feel crummy, but have you ever noticed that it makes you impatient, irritable, unable to concentrate, angry, or depressed? This is the mental-physical health connection in action. However, it’s a two-way street. 

When you’re feeling sad, worried, stressed, or if you’re struggling with mental illness, your body takes note and responds. As a result, if you’re dealing with emotional issues, it can worsen your symptoms when you have an existing injury or illness. However, mental illness can also attack a perfectly healthy body, leading to symptoms that seem to come out of nowhere.

And it doesn’t matter if you had a physical or mental issue first; this intimate connection can cause a debilitating combination of symptoms that persist unless you find and treat the underlying problem.

Your body and depression

Depression can cause persistent sadness, hopelessness, and disinterestedness that impact your whole life. In addition to your mental health, it also affects your personality, relationships, job, and yes, your body.

Common physical effects seen with depression include:

Without treatment, these symptoms can also cause other medical issues. For example, if your depression causes weight gain, you could develop heart disease or diabetes. Or, if you experience increased inflammation over a period of time, it can weaken your immune system. And, if depression prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, it can lead to hypertension.

Your body and anxiety

It’s completely normal to experience nervousness or anxiety from time to time, like when taking a test, presenting at an important meeting, or watching your child drive for the first time. 

These reactions are a temporary defense mechanism to stressful situations. Basically, your body senses danger and floods your system with adrenaline, putting you into fight-or-flight mode to help you “survive” by keeping you alert. Once the danger passes, your system returns to normal.

However, when you live in a near-constant state of mental or emotional stress, your body can’t cope with the increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Eventually, anxiety takes a toll on your body, causing physical health problems, like:

As you can see, anxiety can affect your body from head to toe, especially your cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, digestive, and excretory systems. 

Treating your mind — and your body

Fortunately, if you’re feeling the physical effects of a mental disorder, there’s no better place to seek treatment than Central Clinic. Dr. Malhotra is committed to addressing your physical body and mind together because she understands that many factors affect both. 

Instead of throwing medications at your symptoms, Dr. Malhotra performs a comprehensive physical and neurological exam to discover the root causes of your symptoms. Then, she works closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan designed to heal your whole body so you can feel your best physically and mentally. 

Don’t live with the physical consequences of mental health issues any longer. Call Central Clinic in Spring Hill, Florida, or request an appointment with Dr. Malhotra online today. 

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