The term clinical depression refers to a more severe form of depression. Some call this major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression. This form of depression is not the same as a depression you experience when losing a loved one, or are suffering from a medical condition.

Depression can be experienced in a range of levels, from only temporary episodes, persistent episodes, to mild. If you are suffering from clinical depression, you have a more severe form, which your physician has diagnosed following the criteria under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Clinical depression is a serious health risk. It can have adverse effects on your physical well-being.

Effects of Untreated Clinical Depression on Physical Health

Mounting evidence is proving there are serious side effects from clinical depression on your physical health if it goes untreated. One of the most recent studies explored the risk of strokes or coronary artery disease.

Stroke- A stroke occurs when there is a blocked blood vessel in your brain. A stroke can also happen if you are suffering from a bleed in your brain. The sign of a stroke includes severe headaches, confusion, trouble walking or talking, slurred speech, dizziness, or numbness.
Coronary artery disease- Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in your coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels responsible for providing your heart with oxygen-rich blood.

If you are suffering from major depression and are recovering from a heart attack or stroke, you may be having a more difficult time making decisions. Studies have shown patients suffering from major depression will have a harder time following a doctor’s instructions to cope with their present illness.

Untreated Clinical Depression Affects Your Sleep and Weight

A significant symptom of major depression is a change in your sleeping patterns. One of the most common symptoms is insomnia.

Insomnia- Insomnia is a sleep disorder where you are unable or have a difficult time falling asleep. You may also have insomnia if you cannot stay sleeping.
Suffering from major depression can cause you to feel an increased need to sleep and a significant decrease in your energy levels. Not being able to sleep brings on other symptoms such a difficulty concentrating or not being able to make decisions.

Major depression, when not treated, can have other serious effects on your physical health. This depression can result in excessive weight gain or loss. When you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness and irritability, it will affect your eating habits. For some, it will increase their food intake, and with the loss of energy levels, it leaves them adding excessive pounds. Others may experience a lack of appetite, which also has adverse health effects as you do not get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

Common Signs of Insomnia When Clinical Depression is Untreated

Common signs to watch for if your clinical depression is not treated include:

You never feel as though you’ve gotten enough sleep
You have trouble going back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night
You wake up at all hours during the night
Difficulty concentrating
Continuously wake up before the alarm clock

Other health conditions can arise from clinical depression that goes untreated, such as alcohol and drug abuse. This serious health condition can even render a person disabled in their family, work, and social life. If you suspect you are suffering from clinical depression, you should see your physician right away and work on a medical plan to help you through this difficult disorder.