Does Depression Affect Your Muscle Growth

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Does Depression Affect Muscle Growth

Depression's Physical Consequences

The most well-known emotional symptoms of depression are sadness, guilt, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness. Other common symptoms, such as difficulty focusing or concentrating on tasks, are also thought to be related to one's mental state.

Although depression is a mental illness, it can also have physical manifestations. Depression can cause physical symptoms such as pain, stomach upset, fatigue, and restlessness. 1 People may experience these physical symptoms for a variety of reasons, but they may be unaware that depression is one of the possible causes.

Certain depression treatments, such as medication, can cause physical side effects such as nausea, weight changes, and sexual dysfunction.


People suffering from depression may experience vague aches and pains in their joints, limbs, or back. Some people experience "all over" body pain, which can be chronic and incapacitating.

A person suffering from chronic pain may become depressed, but it is also possible that physical and emotional pain stem from the same source. Researchers are still trying to figure out how physical pain and depression are related, and how they interact with one another.

According to one theory, both can be caused by a malfunction of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Some people who suffer from depression and pain may benefit from taking an antidepressant that affects the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. 3

Another theory is that people who are depressed experience pain differently. A 2015 pain processing study discovered that people with major depression had a lower pain threshold and tolerance than people who were not depressed. According to a 2017 study, one of the most common types of pain in adults, lower back pain, may be directly related to depression.

An earlier study discovered that people who are depressed are 60% more likely to have back pain than people who are not depressed. Researchers are still looking into the link between depression and pain, including theories about chronic inflammation, which may also contribute to other physical symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of the Gastrointestine

People suffering from depression may experience frequent stomach issues such as nausea, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

One possible explanation for these symptoms involves serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain and gut. The brain chemical is linked to depression because it is thought to help regulate mood, but researchers also know that it plays a role in digestive function maintenance.

Researchers are particularly interested in the "gut-brain" connection, which they hope will reveal how mental and digestive health interact. In addition to serotonin, gut microbes are being studied as potential contributors to everything from mood to immunity, both of which have implications for depression. 9


Stress can also impair a person's immune system, making them more susceptible to illness. When someone with a weakened immune system becomes ill, it may take them longer to recover.

Some infections, such as the common cold, are not generally dangerous. A weakened immune system, on the other hand, puts a person at risk of developing infection complications or contracting a more difficult-to-treat infection. 

The connection between immune function and depression is still being studied. Some studies have hypothesized that chronic stress may trigger an inflammatory response, altering the function of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain.

Sleep Issues

When doctors and mental health professionals consider a diagnosis of depression, one of the "core" symptoms they look for is sleep disorders.

The link between depression and sleep is reciprocal, as having difficulty sleeping for any reason (such as a medical condition like sleep apnea) increases a person's risk of depression.

Some research suggests that circadian rhythm disturbances (which can disrupt sleep) may contribute to depression. Understanding and even learning how to change the sleep-wake cycle is one avenue researchers are looking into as they look for new ways to treat depression.


Depressed people frequently report that no matter how much they sleep, they never feel rested. They may struggle to get out of bed in the morning or to perform daily activities such as bathing or doing household chores.

Although having low energy can be linked to a lack of sleep, research has shown that the relationship between depression and fatigue is more complicated.

Fatigue is not only one of the most common physical symptoms of depression, but it is also one of the most difficult to treat. According to one 2010 study, even after starting an antidepressant, fatigue persisted in approximately 80% of people with major depression.

Depression and fatigue may become entwined in a vicious cycle in which chronic fatigue and decreased motivation exacerbate depression. As a result, adequately addressing fatigue is a critical component of developing an effective treatment plan for someone who has been diagnosed with depression.

Symptoms of Psychomotor Function

The term “psychomotor symptoms” refers to symptoms that cause a person to feel as if they are thinking and/or moving at a faster rate than usual.

Some people with depression, for example, perceive their thoughts as sluggish and their movements as heavy. Others have symptoms on the other end of the spectrum. They may complain that they can't sit still or that they are fidgety, restless, and agitated. They may have anxious or even intrusive thoughts in their heads.

Psychomotor symptoms, to some extent, become more common as people get older. While depression in the elderly is common, it is not a normal part of the aging process. As a result, doctors and mental health professionals must consider the possibility that psychomotor changes are a sign of depression rather than simply a natural part of aging.

Blood Pressure Is Excessive

People who are depressed may be stressed frequently or for an extended period of time. While it is not the only cause, chronic stress has been linked to high blood pressure (hypertension).

Elevated blood pressure has been linked to chronic stress in particular. As a result, hypertension raises a person's risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes. Many researchers believe depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, based on the growing body of evidence supporting this claim.

Changes in Appetite and Weight

Depression, in and of itself, can cause someone to eat more or less than they normally do. People who are depressed may report that they have lost weight without trying or that they have gained weight without knowing why.

"Emotional eating," which refers to a person using food to self-medicate feelings of depression, is one factor that may contribute to weight gain. Over time, these behaviors can lead to weight gain. Changes in self-image, associated health problems, and weight stigma can all contribute to (or worsen) depression in people who are overweight or obese.

A 2019 study, for example, proposed a specific link between higher levels of body fat mass and depression (as the researchers did not find a link between depression and non-fat body mass).

Weight loss can also be caused by depression. 24 Weight loss in a depressed person may be caused by loss of appetite, low energy and motivation, making meal preparation difficult, bowel symptoms, and other factors. People who suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, frequently suffer from depression or another mental illness. Weight loss in eating disorders can be extreme, resulting in a slew of physical symptoms. Several studies have suggested that malnutrition from insufficient food intake may worsen depression, though more research is needed to back up the theory.

People who do not get enough food for other reasons, such as those living in poverty or cancer patients,People who do not get enough food for other reasons, such as those living in poverty or cancer patients,Depression caused by malnutrition is also a risk for children and the elderly.Changes in appetite, as well as weight loss or gain, can be a side effect of antidepressant medications.

Side Effects of Medication

Side effects can occur with both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. While most are mild and improve as the body adjusts to the drug, others can be severe and long-lasting. Depression medications may have side effects, many of which are physical.

Here are a few examples of common antidepressant side effects:

  • Changes in appetite, weight gain/loss
  • Vision hazard
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Dizziness
  • Mouth dryness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Sexual

If the side effects of a medication are too difficult to deal with, a person is less likely to continue taking it. Side effects from antidepressants can be a barrier to treatment for someone who takes medication to manage depression.

Antidepressant mental and emotional side effects can be severe, indicating that the medication is not the best treatment for you. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience worsening feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as suicidal ideation, after starting an antidepressant.


When you go to your doctor with a physical complaint, they may not ask you about your emotional symptoms right away. However, without it, they will be unable to accurately diagnose depression.

Before you can start dealing with the physical effects of depression, you must first get an accurate diagnosis. If you have depression symptoms such as persistent sadness, low mood, or loss of interest in doing things you used to enjoy, talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will also need this information to help them decide on the most effective way to treat depression, so it's critical that you tell them about your emotional, mental, and physical symptoms.

Is sadness bad for your muscles?

Back discomfort or painful muscles across the body

Backaches, while frequently connected with poor posture or injuries, can also be a sign of psychological discomfort. A study of 1,013 Canadian university students published in 2017 discovered a link between depression and backaches.

Can depression hamper your progress?

Depression can cause hunger fluctuations, which might result in unwanted weight loss or increase. Excessive weight gain has been linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease, according to medical professionals.

Is it true that depression reduces muscle mass?

Our findings, which show that lower skeletal muscle mass is linked to depressed symptoms in adults, are consistent with earlier research.

Does mental stress have an impact on muscular development?

Stress might make muscle gain more difficult.

Because cortisol is catabolic (meaning it breaks down molecules), it might limit protein synthesis, making it more difficult for your body to grow muscle.

Can sadness create muscle stiffness?

Depression is a mood illness characterized by weariness, lethargy, and insufficient sleep. However, bodily aches and pains with no evident reason, such as unexplained chest pain, muscle ache, shaking, or hot flashes, may indicate sadness.

Does melancholy alter your appearance?

Because the chemicals connected with sadness can inhibit your body from mending inflammation in cells, long-term depression has catastrophic repercussions on your skin. "These hormones impair sleep, which shows on our appearance as large, puffy eyes and a dull or lifeless complexion," explains the doctor.

Is depression a factor in athletic performance?

Many persons who suffer from depression acquire weight as a means of self-soothing. When this weight gain is combined with a lack of activity, people are much less likely to put on workout clothes and go to the gym.

Can a workout be ruined by stress?

According to study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology, stress-induced cognitive exhaustion (or brain fatigue) can make you believe you're working out harder and more effectively than you are.

Is bodybuilding associated with depression?

According to the data, bodybuilders who take supplements had the highest levels of depression, while those who do not take supplements have the lowest levels of despair. It's worth noting that non-bodybuilders had higher levels of depression than bodybuilders who weren't taking supplements.

Is weightlifting beneficial for depression?

They discovered that those with mild to moderate depression who undertook weight training two or more days a week had "substantial" symptom decreases compared to those who did not.

Is lifting weights making you happier?

Physical activity releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that alleviate stress. Although both cardio and strength training cause your body to release endorphins, weight lifting causes your body to produce more endorphins in a shorter period of time than cardio.

Is stress capable of reducing muscle mass?

Acute daily psychological stress is linked to muscular atrophy, according to the findings of this study. Reduced lean muscle mass may have a role in two negative muscle-related health outcomes associated with chronic stress in humans.

Is muscular growth caused by tension?

Mechanical Stress However, tension by itself will not result in maximum muscular growth. The muscle must also go through a full range of motion in order to stimulate additional growth. In other words, to increase muscle growth, lift big weights in a controlled manner via a full range of motion.

Can anxiety make muscles weak?

Muscle weakness, which is most typically noticed in the legs and arms, is another common sign of chronic worry. The body prepares to take action against threat during the fight or flight reaction.

Is VO2 max affected by anxiety?

Furthermore, when given heart-rate feedback, persons with high anxiety sensitivity (i.e., a fear of autonomic arousal), but not a panic disorder diagnosis per se, had considerably lower VO2 max. Furthermore, diagnostic status and levels of anxiety sensitivity interacted to predict VO2 max.

Is v02 max affected by stress?

Based on VO2 peak values, the results demonstrate that anxiety had no effect on performance. Overall, this study found that VO2 peak is unaffected by location, pre-performance anxiety, or training type.

Can stress reduce your gains?

Stress can sabotage your exercise goals. Stress has been found in studies to lower your VO2 max, affecting how well your body can use oxygen during exercise.

Do most bodybuilders suffer from depression?

According to the data, bodybuilders who take supplements had the highest levels of depression, while those who do not take supplements have the lowest levels of despair. It's worth noting that non-bodybuilders had higher levels of depression than bodybuilders who weren't taking supplements.

Why do bodybuilders get depressed?

Bodybuilders have a reputation for being moody. To be honest, they do have mood swings, but this is primarily related to their eating habits. You'll have a happy human on your hands if they're bulking, which means they can consume more fat and carbs because they're attempting to gain weight.

Why am I irritated after a workout?

People become angry in the gym, according to psychologist Isabel Clark, because working out mirrors the body's stress responses. The 'fight or flight' response causes the heart rate to increase, adrenaline to rush through the body, and respiration to become shallow.

Is bodybuilding beneficial to one's mental health?

Exercise can help with stress, anxiety, and sadness. Seeing tangible results can lift your spirits and motivate you to continue to progress and develop your fitness. Bodybuilding can boost your self-esteem and confidence by changing your perspective on your own appearance.

What is the best activity for endorphins?

Adults who engaged in an hour of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) released significantly more endorphins than those who engaged in an hour of less challenging physical activity, according to researchers.

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