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Feb 21, 2021
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Why are people with depression at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

“Mind and somatic health are closely related,” says psychotherapist, psychologist of the Atlas Medical Center Dmitry Aterley… – Just as mental illness can weaken the body and lead to somatic diseases, and vice versa.

Mental problems are caused by two groups of reasons: organic (endocrine diseases, microbiota disorders, etc.) and functional disorders (in this case, mental problems arise from an unsuitable lifestyle).

In the opposite direction, it works differently: mental disorders cause unwanted changes in the body’s work indirectly.

Let’s look at an example of stress. Temporary stress, as a rule, does not cause systemic disturbances. Moreover, it can even have a positive effect, activating the body’s work, which helps to adapt to new living conditions.

The danger of short-term stress is associated with the fact that people begin to seize troubles with sweets, junk food or pour alcohol, and this negatively affects not only immunity, but also mood. ”

“Another thing is chronic stress, which triggers a cascade of neuroendocrine reactions in the body, which involve the hormones of the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands,” explains therapist, physiotherapist Kirill Belan… – Nature intended it to increase the body’s ability to survive in emergency situations. For example, an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, the release of certain hormones into the bloodstream help to escape from danger or win a battle.

In the life of a modern person, “fight or flight” situations are extremely rare. More often we are faced with psychological stress, in which an increase in pressure and heart rate does not save, but destroy the body. Therefore, chronic stress leads to the development of metabolic disorders, the appearance of excess weight, atherosclerosis and arrhythmias, and reduces the activity of the immune system.

No less dangerous for health and affective disorders (mood disorders) – intense manifestations of emotions inappropriate for the situation. For example, standing in a traffic jam, a person reacts to what is happening with excessive aggression. Peak emotions are accompanied by the active production of cortisol, adrenaline, which is fraught with an increase in blood pressure, and in the presence of individual risks, cardiovascular disorders up to a heart attack or stroke.

With depression, which is also a mental disorder, a person loses the ability to enjoy something and leads a monotonous, sedentary lifestyle. The essence of depression is a gradual social degradation up to a return to basic needs: to eat, drink, sleep. The person loses the motivation to take care of their health. Physical activity, healthy eating, sleep-wake balance gradually disappear from life, which leads to exhaustion and deterioration of health. ”

How to resist?

So that psycho-emotional stress does not destroy health and does not suppress immunity, it is necessary:

– Try to get enough sleep.

– Do not forget about physical activity. They improve sleep and help neutralize stress hormones.

– Monitor the level of magnesium (a key anti-stress mineral) in the blood.

– Learn stress management techniques (breathing and meditation) that can be used throughout the day.

There are contraindications, specialist advice is required

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