When you think of depression, you may tend to think of symptoms that are emotional in nature, sadness, despair, and hopelessness. Symptoms such as these are common for someone dealing with depression, but there a host of physical symptoms of depression that are important not to overlook. Let’s take a closer look at some common physical symptoms of depression you may recognize as well as a few you may not:
#1: Problems with Digestion
From nausea and stomach pain to diarrhea and heartburn, depression can do a number on your stomach. Often, people suffering from depression will go to the doctor complaining of digestive upset, only to have the doctor ask questions about their emotional-state and then refer them to a counselor or psychologist. Why? Because it is all connected. The body-mind connection is powerful and it is important not to dismiss or ignore problems with digestion.
#2: Body Aches and Pains
The correlation between body pain and depression is multi-faceted. The pain can be a result of the individual with depression not taking proper care of his or her body. Lack of sleep or too much sleep, which are both symptoms of depression, can also lead to the pain and discomfort.
Pain may exist in the muscles and/or joints, giving you that “I feel one million years old” feeling. If you already had chronic pain, depression can worsen it.
Headaches associated with depression are typically dull, generalized and may worsen in the morning and evening time. Some call them “tension headaches,” because they often result from tense muscles in the neck and scalp area or from the act of jaw clenching. Depression may cause a person to contract the muscles in a way that leads to pain and headaches.
#4: Chest Pain
While this may seem surprising, chest pain can be related to depression—not just anxiety. It’s true that depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand, so it may be difficult to pin-point whether pain in the chest is from one or the other.
Still, the most important thing to remember is that going to the hospital or speaking with a medical professional is the first thing you should do immediately if you experience chest pain. The doctor may determine it is a symptom of depression or anxiety, but it is always better to be on the safe side when the situation involves chest pain.
#5: Weight Changes
Both weight gain and weight loss can be physical symptoms of depression. It’s important to consider depression as a possibility if the weight fluctuation is extreme and seems to happen in a short amount of time without a specific reason like a new exercise or diet plan. If the weight change is unexpected, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor to determine what could be wrong.
Get Help for Emotional and Physical Symptoms of Depression
At Positive Living Psychotherapy, we provide a safe place for you to ask questions about the emotional and physical symptoms of depression. If you are ready to schedule an appointment for therapy, or simply want to get more information, contact us now.