The Top 7 Common
Physical Symptoms of Depression
Depression manifests itself in many ways and physical symptoms of depression are not uncommon. Of course the classic emotional symptoms of depression are almost always present such as low self esteem, low sense of self worth, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, feelings of despair, and feeling sad. However, in addition to the emotional symptoms, the physical symptoms can be just as prevalent and just as bothersome.
In fact, according to Psychology Today, there was a study of 25,000 depressed patients across the globe and 50% of them had unexplained physical symptoms. So, if you are depressed, you may indeed be experiencing physical symptoms as well.
Physical Symptoms of Depression
There are seven physical symptoms of depression that are most common, although it is possible to feel one, some or all of them depending on the individual and the severity of depression. These symptoms include the following:
Insomnia or hypersomnia - Approximately 80% of depressed people suffer with insomnia while the other 20% experience hypersomnia - wanting to sleep all the time.
When an individual is experiencing high stress levels or depression it can result in a change in sleeping patterns. The individual may sleep more where the individual has lost all hope and sees no reason to get up. Conversely, they may sleep less than usual where the individual is so overwhelmed with anxiety that they have trouble falling asleep, much less sleeping at all.
Headaches: Of course feeling depressed can bring on a tremendous amount of stress and often times this manifests itself in the form of headaches. When this happens it is important to monitor your use of pain relievers. Avoid using them to often or taking too much and consider using natural techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or visualization.
Digestive Issues: Everybody knows that stress can bring about digestive issues but so can depression. Common issues include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, bad cramping, or even diarrhea.
Losing / gaining weight due to change in appetite: When an individual is stressed or depressed often times it results in a significant increase or decrease in appetite which, ultimately, results in weight gain or loss.
Chest / back Pain / muscle and joint aches: This is surprisingly representative of physical symptoms of depression. If you experience chest pain then it is not to be taken lightly. Rather, consider consulting a physician, particularly if the chest pains mimic that of a potential heart attack. With respect to back pain and muscle aches, these symptoms can be new, presenting problems or they may get worse for those with an already chronic condition.
Fatigue - Often times people with depression seem to have very little energy and find simple, everyday tasks difficult to do because they simply feel exhausted.
Hyper - some people with depression can feel hyper or keyed up. When this is the case they usually experience hypersomnia as well.
Feeling exhausted and fatigued: In cases of severe depression, it is hard enough trying to get out of bed and having the exhaustion and fatigue on top of it certainly doesn’t help.
Being dizzy and/or light headed: This is usually the result of the manic side of depression where the person feels a “rush”, if you will, which results in dizzy spells and lightheadedness.
All of these physical symptoms of depression should not be ignored. Particularly if they are accompanied by all of the emotional symptoms previously mentioned.
If these symptoms are present then the individual should perhaps take a depression test. The results of this test are simply another reference point and are not meant to be a diagnosis. As a result, it is important to contact a mental health professional to obtain a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis. This will lead to a comprehensive depression treatment plan designed with the individual’s needs in mind so that the recovery process can begin as soon as possible.
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