Most of us realize that our physical health can have a direct effect on our mental well-being. Studies have shown that those suffering with pain and physical restrictions, as well as those who simply neglect their physical health are much more likely to experience depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. Can Chiropractic Help with Depression and overall well-being?
In 2018, more than 1.4 million Americans attempted suicide, accounting for more than 48,000 deaths. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reports that in the United States, suicide ranks as the 10th leading cause of death.
Car Accidents and Other Injuries Can Lead to Post-Traumatic Stress and Depression
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 there were an estimated 6.5 million reported traffic crashes, causing an estimated 37,133 fatalities and 2.7 million injuries.
In addition to the pain, limited mobility and other physical problems that often accompany an injury, many people also experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, anguish, fearfulness, issues with sleep and more – all of which can lead to hopelessness, despair and thoughts of suicide.
Social Isolation and Depression
Social isolation can cause depression even at the best of times. But as the recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced so many people to quarantine themselves in their homes and deal with varying degrees of loneliness and social isolation, it’s important to be aware of how this can affect both our physical and mental health. The effects on physical health may seem obvious – stress and isolation can cause us to eat more, exercise less, and even lead to increased use of alcohol and drugs.
But the mental distress of these events can be somewhat overlooked. With more and more news of the increasing number of infections and rising death tolls, many people are finding themselves struggling to cope, and this grief, trauma and exhaustion can compound stress and increase the likelihood of depression and suicide. In fact, studies have shown that suicide rates in rural areas tend to be higher than those in urban areas, and social isolation was determined to be a major factor for this.
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression symptoms can include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Changes in appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Healthy Choices, Physical Activity Can Help
For those who are able to, exercising is good for much more than just maintaining physical health – it’s also one of the best tools to fight depression. Doctors have long known that exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which are feel-good brain chemicals that can help ease depression. Exercise also lowers levels of chemicals released by the immune system that can make depression worse.
Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult to be effective, either. Frequently walks (even short ones) can help with stress-related health conditions, and people who walk regularly also report reduced stress levels and increased self-confidence thanks to taking an active role in their well-being. Additionally, activities like yoga and mindfulness meditation are things almost anyone can do, and there are plenty of websites and videos that can help get you started.
How All Injury Rehab and Chiropractic Can Help
At All Injury Rehab, our experienced professionals care about your physical and mental well-being. We’re here to help, and all of our services offer a number of benefits. Regular chiropractic adjustments, medical massage and rehabilitation can help by reducing joint restriction, restoring balance, and giving you relief from pain so you can get back to being active again.
With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we believe providing our communities with chiropractic care and rehabilitation services is an essential component of staying physically and mentally healthy. We have implemented CDC recommended protocols and many of our own procedures in order to ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff, and our clinic locations remain open.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll help you get on the path to recovery.