Regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, or social status, everybody deserves the right to sound mental health. This concept goes beyond the absence of mental illnesses; it also means being able to bounce back from challenges and learning to cope with setbacks healthily. 

Unfortunately, due to different factors, not everyone can enjoy mental stability. One of the most common mental illnesses that affect anyone is depression. This severe mood disorder can negatively affect productivity, relationships, and self-esteem. Fortunately, you are never alone in this battle. Your healing journey begins once you recognize the symptoms and seek mental health treatment. 

To better understand what it’s like to live with depression, this article is your guide to understanding this mental illness. 

What Is Depression?

Clinical depression is a severe mental health disorder that affects millions of Americans. It can cause long-lasting sadness and hopelessness, making working on the simplest tasks challenging. People who suffer from depression isolate themselves from their loved ones and struggle to find the motivation to do anything. 

It’s crucial to remember that depression affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels. Experts think genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors can cause this disorder. Moreover, the symptoms can begin at any time and can be debilitating and difficult to manage.

How Is Anxiety Associated with Depression?

When someone suffers from anxiety during their formative years, it can have a long-term effect on their mental health and cause depression in adulthood. Middle-aged adults can suffer from mental health issues like depression when physical illnesses trigger it, such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Fortunately, there are different mental health treatments for this condition. 

What Are the Common Symptoms of Depression?

While everyone experiences depression differently, common symptoms of this disease include prolonged sadness, loss of interest, appetite changes, sleep issues, lethargy, irritability, constantly thinking about death, suicidal thoughts, and physical aches and pains. 

How Is Cortisol Associated with This Mental Illness?

Depression is a treatable mental disorder when people seek therapy and medication and make lifestyle changes, diet, and rest. Elevated stress levels can cause high cortisol levels, thus perpetuating the cycle of depression.

Our body produces the hormone cortisol when we experience stress. It increases heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension to give us the energy to tackle the situation. While it can help us in the short term, long-term exposure to stress can negatively affect our physical and psychological well-being. 

How Does It Affect Our Mind and Body?

High cortisol levels can adversely affect one’s learning and memory, weaken the immune system, cause weight gain, and lead to depression. It disturbs most body processes and increases the risk of headaches, digestive problems, and mental disorders. Every cell in your body has a cortisol receptor, explaining why substantially heightened hormone levels can have such a severe effect. 

How to Reduce Stress 

You can reduce stress by practicing self-care like healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising. You can also start meditating, journaling, and taking prescribed medication and book a massage appointment. Moreover, you should speak to your doctor immediately if you’re struggling to sleep. 

What to Remember about Depression

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) contains information to help healthcare professionals diagnose mental health disorders. You must remember that there are several types of depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition related to changes in winter daylight. 

Light therapy can help people with SAD, while other types of depression can benefit from medication and other forms of mental health treatment. People with this disorder can also benefit from non-medical therapies like exercise and pursuing a new hobby. 


Depression is a mental health issue that doesn’t discriminate and can negatively affect someone’s quality of life. Fortunately, your healing journey begins when you recognize the symptoms and seek mental health treatment. 

Family Medicine and Wellness offers professional mental health treatment in Troy, Michigan, to help our patients bounce back better. We’re committed to ensuring your well-being through a personalized patient-physician relationship. Contact us now!