The 5 Scariest Things Depression Does To Your Body

Depression can physically hurt.

depressed woman laying on couch Stock Unit / Shutterstock

When you think about depression and the internal workings of your body, it’s most likely that the little neurotransmitter serotonin will come to mind.

That’s the main one that Big Pharma has been focused on for the past few decades in creating treatments for depression and it’s had a lot more than just fifteen minutes of fame.

RELATED: 7 Destructive Lies Your Depression Tells You (And The Truth It's Trying To Hide)


The hormone cortisol is its less famous cousin. If you’ve heard of cortisol, it is more likely that it was associated with long-term stress and it has certainly had its own bad rap in the media in that department.

The thing is that cortisol is essential to life and we all have high levels of cortisol at times. We get a spike of cortisol in the mornings to help us to snap out of sleep and get the day going with a bit of zest.


Think of it as your body’s natural morning cup of coffee. Usually, your cortisol levels will peter out over the course of the day leaving you feeling tired and restful by bedtime. This is also why when you’re depressed, it's usually worst in the morning and improves as the day goes on.

Now, the reason for cortisol’s infamy is due to the effects of ongoing high levels of this hormone in your body.

When you’re depressed and your cortisol levels are soaring when they should have landed. These are some of the scary things happening to your body and why depression physically hurts.

Here are the 5 scariest things depression does to your body:

1. Decreases your body's immunity.

Cortisol affects your ability to make white blood cells, making you more likely to pick up infections.


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2. Causes increased belly fat.

Cortisol can make it almost impossible to lose those extra pounds, particularly around your midsection.

3. Makes you age faster.

Cortisol breaks down muscle and connective tissue making you look older faster.

4. Gives you insomnia

It’s your cup of coffee, remember, so high levels of cortisol outside of your morning routine may leave you feeling restless and unable to settle at night.

RELATED: 9 Subtle Signs Of Depression I Was Too Depressed To Notice

5. Decreases thyroid activation

Cortisol affects your thyroid levels which can lead to constipation, dry skin, fatigue, and even changes in your menstrual cycle.


Now, this list may make you feel even more depressed than you already were and that is definitely not my intention.

You see, there’s a simple little trick to lowering your cortisol levels quickly, which will not only alleviate your depression somewhat but will also safeguard you against these negative effects of cortisol on your body.

Researchers discovered that if you hold a power pose (standing with your hands on your hips and chest out, or putting your arms up in the victory position like you just won a race, for example) for just two minutes drops your cortisol levels by around 25 percent. 

That's a quarter of those negative effects banished by spending just two minutes of your time caring for your body.


Try it now. Do it every hour. Make it a daily habit.

Depression may have the ability to do scary things to your body but it is still your body and you get to decide how far that goes. Nature never gives us a negative without also giving us the means to counteract it.

RELATED: 7 Surprising Things That Make Your Depression Even Worse

Mia Von Scha is a Transformational Parenting Coach. If you are still struggling with the fear of failure or fear in general, give her a call.