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Mood, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders can take a serious physical toll on one's body — adversely impacting one's quality of life.

Additionally, there is one very significant health risk associated with mood, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders: suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression and mental health disorders are one of the main risk factors for suicide.

Health risks of depression and mood disorders

Mood disorders in general can increase your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Hepatitis

In addition, depression commonly occurs alongside neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, strokes and brain tumors.

Mood disorders are associated with a number of health risks, including chronic medical conditions, an increased risk of hospitalization (particularly in younger adults) and an increased risk of suicide.


Health risks of anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders also come with serious physical complications. The anxiety response triggers a flood of chemicals to be released into the body, preparing the body to respond to a perceived threat (this is also called fight or flight). Prolonged and significant anxiety often results in a serious imbalance that can contribute to health risks, including:

  • Weakened immune system/vulnerability to viral infections
  • COPD
  • Depressed appetite/nutritional deficiencies
  • Depression
  • Excretory and digestive issues, including IBS
  • Increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Increased risk of coronary events (especially among individuals with heart disease).

People with trauma-related disorders, including PTSD, face an increased risk of having chronic medical issues. Those with severe mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than others — often due to health complications that are treatable.

We can not emphasize this enough: mood and anxiety disorders carry a heightened risk of suicide. In fact, upwards of 90 percent of those who commit suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness. This is why it is so important that individuals with mental health issues work with a collaborative treatment team regularly, including a knowledgeable physician, psychiatrist and therapist.

If you or a loved one is suffering, please call 877-825-8584 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a clinician.