One topic often not addressed within BDSM, and the adult industry in general, is mental health. One of the most common mental health issues today is depression. The adult industry has seen several suicides in the past several years, which are only one consequence of depression. Thankfully, not everyone who has depression is suicidal, but did you know that depression can also have other effects? For example, science has found a link between cardiovascular health and depression. This is especially important since, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for males and females of most ethnic and racial groups (Center for Disease Control, 2019). In the October 2019 issue of Woman’s Day, Dr. Jesse Stewart states that depression may impact heart health as much as traditional risk factors (e.g. obesity, diet, exercise) (Morris, 2019).
While the exact mechanisms by which depression affects heart health are still being investigated, it is known that depression can increase inflammation in the body. According to Pahwa, Singh, and Jialal (2019), chronic inflammatory diseases are the most significant cause of death in the world, and the World Heath Organization (WHO) ranks it as the greatest threat to human health. Chronic inflammation leads to several health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies, arthritis, stroke, cancer, joint diseases, and COPD (Pahwa, Singh, & Jialal, 2019). In other words, it is REALLY bad for you.
In summation, depression can lead to inflammation which can then lead to a host of other serious health conditions. Thus, depression is more than a pervasive mood problem. If you think you have depression please look to someone for help, or at least talk to your primary care physician about taking anti-depressants. Remember, the brain and body are inextricably linked. We must take care of both in order to achieve wellness.
Center for Disease Control. (2019). Heart disease facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
Pahwa R, Singh A, Jialal I. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2019 Dec 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
Morris, R. (2019, October). Depression and your heart. Woman’s Day, 83.