We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Connection between Constipation and Depression?

Nicole Madison
Updated Jan 21, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many people might imagine that constipation and depression are unrelated, as one is mental in nature while the other is physical. In reality, however, the mental changes a person experiences can affect his physical health, and depression and other forms of mental stress often cause or contribute to constipation. Among the reasons depression may contribute to constipation are the poor eating habits and lack of exercise that often accompany bouts of depression. Likewise, a depressed, stressed out person may fail to move his bowels regularly, which can only make matters worse. Additionally, some people find that depression is irritating to their digestive systems overall, which can result in diarrhea, constipation, or alternating bouts of both.

Sometimes the connection between constipation and depression becomes evident because of a person's eating habits. In many cases, depressed people fail to eat as healthily as they normally would. Some forgo fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods in favor of eating junk foods or quick meals. They may also skip meals at times and fail to drink enough water to facilitate regular bowel movements. They might even make choices that work to further compound the problem, such as choosing to drink too much alcohol in an effort to dull their emotions.

In many cases, the connection between constipation and depression is related to exercise. A person's ability to have normal, regular bowel movements is somewhat related to the movement of his body. Exercise helps the digestive system work properly and keeps muscles involved in producing bowel movements in good condition. When a depressed person neglects exercise or even stops performing many of his everyday activities, his chances of becoming constipated can increase dramatically. Once the person is already constipated, the further lack of exercise may only make matters worse.

People who are depressed often feel off kilter and have a difficult time keeping up with their normal schedules and patterns, which represents another way constipation and depression are connected. While many people have bowel movements on a regular basis without putting much thought into going to the bathroom, a depressed person may behave in an opposite manner. Using the bathroom to have a bowel movement may become a chore that a depressed person has difficulty remembering, or he may lack the motivation to go to the bathroom when he feels the urge to do so. After a person skips bowel movements even a couple of times, his bowels can become hard and compacted, and the affected person may become constipated.

Interestingly, some people find that their digestive systems are affected by stress levels and how they feel mentally, even if none of their habits change. A depressed, stressed person may notice that he has bouts of diarrhea or constipation. In some cases, he may even develop diarrhea, and once that resolves, experience constipation. Nausea is also a common problem among people with digestive systems that are particularly vulnerable to stress.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Jan 30, 2014

Animandel - Any condition or disease interfering with your diet can cause constipation or diarrhea, so I'm not sure how much that alone would help in diagnosing depression. Of course, combined with other symptoms it might lead you or your doctor in the right direction to help determine whether is it depression or something else affecting you.

By Animandel — On Jan 30, 2014

Drentel -- You make a good point. Sometimes we are so busy dealing with the symptoms (constipation for example) that we fail to see the disease (depression in this case).

Many people know that depression is often one of the possible fatigue causes, but I doubt many people even think of constipation as a possible warning sign of depression. It would have taken me forever to make that connection.

By Drentel — On Jan 29, 2014

This article is good and worth reading because it highlights what everyone should and needs to know about depression; and that is that the disease screws you up. It can totally change a person's life. The activities you once took for granted become chores.

I think that is one reason so many people who have never had depression can't understand the disease. You can't will yourself out of depression because it morphs into other issues like constipation, dehydration, forgetfulness, withdrawal, fatigue and on and on. The physical symptoms of depression can seem endless, and then you have to cope with the mental and emotional symptoms also.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.