The emotional state of the person going through depression is something many are familiar with. But depression also has easily recognizable physical symptoms or traits. You may be unaware of this but sufferers of depression usually have chronic pains. The physical symptoms of depression include:
- Back pains. Back pain being one of the physical symptoms that can be compounded if one suffers from depression because the chemicals in the brain that influence depression also do same with how pain is felt. The same set of neurotransmitters that send signals to the brain handles both depression and pain.
- Muscle aches and joint pains. These pains can come about as a direct result of depression. This does not mean they must be connected but even if they aren’t, depression generally makes the pain worse.
- Migraine. This is one of the more common physical symptoms experienced by people suffering from depression.
- Chest pain. Aside from it implying other serious ailment, chest pains too are linked to depression.
- Tiredness. Chronic fatigue in which even after sleeping or resting still persists is a one of the physical symptoms of depression.
- Sleep disorders. Many with depression find it difficult to sleep or sleep too much. At times they sleep but in very short periods and generally don’t get the satisfaction of a good sleep.
- Digestive disorders. Constipation is one of the digestive problems that are associated with depression.
- Loss of appetite and weight. The opposite is also true in that it can produce excessive eating and weight gain.
- Faintness. Feeling lightheaded and about to faint or constantly wanting to sit down is a pointer to a depressive state.
People including doctors miss these symptoms and fail to recognize and use it to diagnose depression because these symptoms are found in other ailments. And because many are ignorant of what they are going through, they fail to seek the right kind of help since they associate these physical symptoms with other things.
Depression causes real physiological changes and it’s not just a mental ailment or something that happens only in the mind. It has been proven to affect digestion by slowing it down and causing problems with the stomach. Depression is associated with chemical imbalance in the brains. The same chemicals also play a major role in how we experience or sense pain.
This is why some experts believe that depression can make one sense pain in a greater degree than it would have been for one who is not suffering from depression. Treating the physical symptoms of depression is unique in some sense because there are cases where dealing with the ailment itself resolves the physical issues that came with it.This doesn’t mean that your doctor should not be made aware of the physical symptoms you are experiencing, its best that the doctor knows as much as possible so that treatment would be better applied.
This is because they may need separate treatment. This can be seen in sleeping disorders associated with depression where special drugs for it can be prescribed to make you sleep better. The reverse too can also apply i.e. dealing with the pain first can then help deal with the depression just as some antidepressant drugs can help with pain as well.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help deal with some of these physical symptoms of depression because it trains you to help re-focus your mind away from the pain. The physical symptoms of depression should be taken seriously because they are some of the clearest pointers to a person that he or she is suffering from depression. So it is something that must be passed along when visiting the doctor. This will not only help early diagnoses but will help bring about better and quicker treatment.