Depression is a widespread condition throughout the UK which can affect you both emotionally and physically

This year in the UK, January 15th has acquired the title of ‘Blue Monday’, a title generally awarded to the third Monday in January.

Blue Monday refers to the day of the year when we are supposed to feel at our most down. Several factors are said to contribute to this conclusion, including the cold, dark weather, low finances following Christmas, general post-Christmas blues, failing New Year’s resolutions and generally low motivation.

So at this glum time of year, it’s important to reflect on the impact that conditions such as depression can have on our wellbeing — both physical and emotional. Understanding the condition can help you identify potential symptoms and seek the help and support you need.

What is depression?

Although we’re all set to feel a bit down on Blue Monday, depression is much more than simply feeling unhappy for a few days. The condition involves feeling persistently sad, negative and fatigued for weeks or months at a time.

Depression is a real health concern with real symptoms. It affects around 10% of people at some point in their lives, and research has even shown that around 4% of children in the UK aged 5 to 16 present symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, therapies and medications such as anti-depressants. These lifestyle changes can involve incorporating factors like exercise or self-care measures into your daily routine. The level of treatment prescribed is generally based on whether the depression is deemed mild, moderate or severe.

Depression can lead to a variety of symptoms, including persistently feeling low, experiencing stress or anxiety, or even feeling suicidal. The impact of depression on your mental health can also have an effect on your body.

Despite being a mental health condition, depression can lead to physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression most commonly involve feeling constantly tired, paired with poor sleep health. This can lead to sufferers taking refuge in unhealthy ‘comfort’ foods or poor health habits like smoking, and this lack of energy and physical activity can also lead to weight gain. However, for some people, depression can create a loss of appetite.

What’s more, depression has also been found to lead to aches and pains (often as a result of poor diet and exercise due to low energy) and a lack of a sex drive. In men, depression can lead to sexual health concerns such as erectile dysfunction.

The physical impact of depression can create a vicious cycle

When an individual suffers from depression and starts to experience physical symptoms as a result of the condition, it can create a vicious cycle by adding more fuel to the fire of their negative thoughts and feelings. Putting on weight or falling back on habits like smoking can reduce motivation even further and make those experiencing depression think that their feelings will only get worse rather than better.

Similarly, sexual health symptoms of depression can create increased stress and anxiety around the act of sexual intercourse, increasing the likelihood that conditions like erectile dysfunction will persist or even worsen.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, it’s hugely important to seek help and support in order to get to the root of the problem. Tackling any physical symptoms can also help to reduce the intensity of negative feelings. Effective medication for conditions like erectile dysfunction, excess weight and smoking are all available from Express Pharmacy.

Express Pharmacy can provide discreet advice and medication for a variety of health concerns. If you’re living with a condition we can help you with, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Call Express Pharmacy on 0208 123 07 03 or use our online Live Chat service.