Depression – Complications, Effects

Depression is a serious disease that causes adverse effects on patient’s physical health, daily activities and relationships. Depression usually becomes chronic with recurrent episodes. If left untreated, Depression can lead to the severe complications.

Complications associated with depression

Risk for Suicide

As per the reliable estimates, Depression causes two-thirds of all suicide cases. The tendency of committing suicide is more profound in men as compared to women.

Whenever one talks of contemplating suicide, it should be taken very seriously. There are certain antidepressant medications that may enhance the risk for suicidal tendency in adolescents.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Depressed people are vulnerable to get addicted to alcohol or drug abuse. There is no such established study that links alcohol dependence and depression; however depressed people tend to consume alcohol or drugs to forget their sorrows or painful experiences.


Smoking is the most common complication of depressed people and in majority of the cases, depressed people are usually nicotine dependent. Patients with genetically induced depression consume nicotine as it improves their mood may by stimulating receptors in the brain.

Heart Disease and Heart Attacks

Depression may lead to severe heart disease and even causes heart attack in severe cases. Moreover, depression may also weaken response to medications in heat disease patients.

Some of the harmful effects caused by depression involve impaired blood flow to the heart, modifications in heart rate and increased risk for blood clotting.


Depressed patients are at increased risk of developing obesity. Moreover, obese people are more prone to depression as compared to non-obese people.

Both Obesity and depression have common risk factors such as lower social and economic group,  low physical activity, etc.

Mental Decline

Depression in the elderly people causes decline in mental functioning irrespective of dementia. Some studies have also linked Depression with Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain scans of the elderly depressed patients show increased shrinkage as compared to scans of non-depressed individuals.

Increasing Sensations of Pain

Depression is also associated with increased pain in patients suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia.


The depression and anxiety adversely affect the life of cancer patients.

Sexual Problems

Depression often leads to decreased sex drive as depressed people lack the mood and vigour needed for active sex life. Long term depression results in loss of self-esteem and relationship problems.

Effects on Relationships

Effects on children

Depression in parents causes bad or negative influence on their relationships with their children. Thus, it may contribute to the risk for depression in their children.

Effects on Marriage

As per the estimates, depressed people have complicated married life and they usually have higher divorce rates as compared to healthy people.

Moreover, a depressed partner may also results in depression in other partner.

Effect on Work

Depressed individuals lose the interest in life and it adversely affects their work life. Depression increases the risk for unemployment and tends to make the workers unproductive.

Depressed workers develop various health problems and also take more time to recover. All these factors adversely affect their work and chances of promotion at workplace.