Physical Signs of Depression You Should Know
People who suffer from depression experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loneliness and/or loss of interest in things they once enjoyed. All of these feelings can interfere with a person’s ability to function properly and have a dramatic effect on their quality of life.
To understand depression, you need to be aware of the physical signs, too. This can help you get timely diagnosis and treatment.
1. Weight loss or gain
Depression affects hormones that regulate appetite and can make you want to eat more or less than you usually do. In addition, sleep problems associated with depression can aggravate the problem, since sleep deprivation can clutter with those same hormones of hunger and fullness.
If you or someone around you experiences a relatively sudden change in weight, consult a physician to study the cause, including the possibility of depression.
2. Aches and pains
Sometimes, muscle or joint pain may be due to depression. When you keep your feelings inside, you finally come out physically in the form of bodily pain. Be it a headache or back pain, suppressed emotions can manifest as physical pain.
Back pain is also common in people with anxiety and mood disorders. This happens because depressed people have the habit of slouching, which causes back pain.
3. Stomach problems
There is also a strong connection between digestive problems – bloating, constipation, irritable bowel and others – and depression.
The bowel is particularly sensitive to your moods. In addition, nerve cells in your gut make 80 to 90 percent of the serotonin in your body, a neurotransmitter that promotes mood.
4. Sleeping problems
Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. Surprisingly, as tired as you may feel, depression can affect your sleep quality.
Like chronic pain, headaches and migraines are also linked to depression. While depression can lead to headaches, it is also a common symptom in people with migraines.
Migraines may be the reason behind the development of mood disorders, such as depression, or vice versa. The bond is even stronger in people who experience migraines with aura, which means that people see flashing lights or stars during a migraine attack.
6. Skin problems
Stress hormones are harmful to the skin. Depression is associated with elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so it is common to see skin problems in people suffering from depression. It can even worsen conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
7. Chest pain
Chest pain is a well-known symptom of heart problems. What many people do not know is that chest pain is related to depression and vice versa.
Depression can affect heart rhythms, raise blood pressure, and increase insulin, cholesterol, and stress levels.
8. Poor oral health
Depression can also have a negative effect on your oral health. This is mainly due to lack of self-care, which commonly occurs with depression.