At some point in our lives, it may turn out that we have fallen into some kind of depression. And I say “some type” because there are degrees that can be moderate, severe, or first symptoms of depression. Although many are unaware of this disease to some extent, it should be taken into account when identifying some of the symptoms. Since if it is a disease, it can lead to serious consequences. Like suicide.

That is why it is important to recognize the symptoms caused by this condition.

  • Irritable or low mood most of the time.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or excess sleep.
  • Large change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred and guilt.
  • Difficult to focus.
  • Slow or fast movements.
  • Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or abandonment.
  • Repetitive thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Loss of pleasure in activities that usually make you happy, including sexual activity.

Depression not only affects social and family life. But it also affects on a more cellular level.

In a new study carried out, it was found that people who have depressive disorders are biologically older than people who do not have depression. And that childhood trauma exacerbates this effect.

In the American Journal of Psychiatry, it has been published that depression can also result in premature aging. Scientists at the University of Amsterdam Medical Center studied the DNA structure of people with depression and made an intriguing discovery.

The DNA of people with depression is on average 8 months older than people who do not have this disease. And this is in a kind of moderate depression. In the case of severe depression, the biological age of the people was between 10 and 15 years older than the chronological age.

This premature aging effect was even more significant in people who had adverse experiences during childhood. Such as violence, trauma, neglect, or abuse. To arrive at these results, the experts examined the DNA of 811 people with depression and 319 without it. Using blood samples, the researchers examined the change in the participants’ DNA with age. The result was that epigenetic changes occurred more quickly in people with depression.

Epigenetics is the study that examines changes in gene expression that do not affect the DNA sequence. Such changes occur as a result of factors. Including the environment and of course, the lifestyle as I mentioned in my previous post.

One of the mechanisms by which the epigenetic change occurs is called DNA meditation. That is when a methyl group is transferred and added to DNA.

In general, the specialists saw that people with depression had a degree of methylation and epigenetic change that indicated that they were of an older age. Therefore, suffering from this disease significantly affects cellular and DNA aging.


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