Apart from the obvious, death due to suicide, Depression has detrimental effect on overall well being which can reduce one’s life span.
1) Science has proven that acute depression reduces immunity which gives easy access to infections (a normally healthy person might be able to resist these infections).
2) There is hardly any motivation to look after oneself. As a result a poor diet and lethargic lifestyle affects health adversely.
3) Binge eating: one known link to depression is a craving for pleasure giving foods and drinks such as sugar-heavy drinks, chocolate, etc~ these undesirable habits give temporary respite fro depression, hence the addiction to them as ‘go to’ foods for relief. Type 2 Diabetes, obesity cannot lurk too far behind.
4) Psychosomatic illnesses~ Depression affected are more prone to Asthma, Arthritis and other conditions (some of them serious). The triggers could be partly physical and partly mental agony.
5) The depressed who cut themselves off from society lead to unwanted repercussions~ lack of self worth can be very demotivating. There is no need felt to present oneself as ‘desirable’ to the outside world and hence self neglect sets in due to self imposed isolation.
6) Stigma~ As if the illness itself is not crippling enough, stigma is akin to the last straw on the camel’s back. A depressed mind has poor defense against barbs made by family, colleagues and friends such as, ‘You are yourself responsible for your condition. Why do you seek sympathy from the world?’. This makes the misery worse and can have further, detrimental impact on health.
7) Most importantly, how motivated would a depressed person be to seek treatment/therapy and continue with it? This crucial issue can adversely affect long term outcomes of the illness.