Emotions such as anguish, grief, social isolation, and prolonged sorrow are often witnessed as the prime indicators that someone might be struggling with a dark state of mind. However, we hardly talk about the physical symptoms of depression. Yes, the signs of depressions are not just intangible but also tangible. You can look at someone and tell what they might be going through. Depression is an extensive spectrum of psychological, physical, and behavioral symptoms.
The widespread perception about depression is that it is just an emotional disorder and a state of mind. However, there is a need to spread awareness in the matter. Depression is much more than just a sad feeling and can have a drastic impact on a person’s physical health.
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An unusual aspect of depression is the severe feeling of isolation. Perception of being alone can guide to a point of shame and feeling uncomfortable in the company of people. It’s an excruciating situation to be in and therefore, detecting the symptoms at an early stage to begin quick diagnosis is a non-negotiable requirement.
Here are the 8 physical symptoms of depression to tell if someone needs help.
8 Physical Signs of Depression
- Extreme fatigue
Patients suffering from depression can be beyond fatigued. Not sleeping well, being constantly rounded out with mental stress, and missing out on proper diet can all lead to fatigue. This fatigue is not the same as the ‘long-day-at-work’ fatigue. It is more of thinking like ‘can’t get out of bed even when I want’ kind of fatigue.
Depression together with fatigue can worsen mental health and leads to an apparently never-ending cycle.
Frequent and severe headaches are more than just the usual pain that you might catch after a long screen time. Headaches like that of migraine are actually the indicator that you are highly prone to anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Headaches due to depression are way different from normal headaches as depressive headaches can make you feel pins and needles or a stabbing pain up in the head. Many people with depression grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism, which is another reason why headaches are very common in depression.
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Frequent headaches are both symptom and cause of depression and anxiety disorder in humans.
3. Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting with depression is a trifecta of an excruciating case plot. You wake up and you have anxiety which causes depression and then nausea. When a patient feels nauseated, they are more likely to skip their meal because you are afraid of throwing up. As mentioned above, mental disorders have a far-reaching impact on the physical health of a person. Patient might suffer contraction or hindrance in the movement of the GI tract due to depression, stress, or anxiety, which leads to nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
4. Changing appetite
This is one of the most widely-known physical symptom of depression, a patient tends to lose appetite. On contrary, they might also experience increase in appetite drastically. In some people, feeling of sadness can increase cortisol production in the body, which is stress hormone. A preoccupied mind tends to skip food frequently. But it can be contradictory to some depression cases where the person experiences an increase in appetite. This type of depression is called atypical depression.
5. Increased cravings for carbohydrates/sweets
When you are depressed, your body is looking for the next shot of dopamine. One unfailing way to do that is to hog in some good sugary desserts. So if you are finding yourself where you want to cut back on sugar but you can’t, low-level depression could be one of the reasons. If you have an undertreated depressive disorder, cutting down on your carvings will be burdensome whether it is sweets or alcohol.
6. Impenetrable pain
Unexplained pain in individuals with depression is ubiquitous. People go for years with this acute pain and strive for different sorts of treatment. People have diverse surgeries to try and cope with a pain syndrome that hardly has a source. This pain goes away with the right treatment of depression or at least mostly get much better. Physical therapy or behavioral cognitive therapy can help you suppress the pain.
7. Chest pain and shortness of breath
People suffering from depression and panic attacks tend to have brevity breaths frequently. People land up in the ER for chest tightness and pain. Shortness of breath is often without any exertion and occurs suddenly while experiencing a highly sad or stressed episode. When you are depressed you breathe faster and in response to that, your body perceives it as a fight-or-flight mode leading to the symptom.
8. Cold and hot flashes
Oftentimes, a person dealing with depression faces hot and cold flashes. A person can go from feeling sweaty and hot one moment to feeling extreme cold the next. You can get these flashes any time while expriencing stress. To treat these flashes, doctors suggest hormonal therapy as the best option.