8 Physical Symptoms of Depression You Need to Know
Think depression is all in the head? Well, think again. Depression is much more than just feeling sad and it actually may manifest itself in many different physical ways that you may not be aware of.
Read below to learn 8 physical symptoms of depression:
There are many different types of headaches that range in severity and cause. A “tension headache” is a type of headache that is often seen with depression, which is normally a mild throbbing pain extending across the forehead.
Feeling lethargic and having low energy is often a hallmark physical symptom of depression. If you have noticed a dip in your energy level, it is a good idea to check in with how your mood has been.
Have you ever heard of the stomach being referred to as the “second brain?” The stomach is often referred to as the second brain because it is very much connected to the brain, meaning the brain can influence how the stomach feels – so feeling depressed can literally make you feel sick to your stomach.
4. Constipation and/or diarrhea
As discussed above, the mind and stomach are very much connected which can lead to not only nausea, but also becoming constipated or having diarrhea.
Professional experience: In practice, I’ve had many patients who’ve had problems with constipation and/or diarrhea and once I put them on antidepressants the symptoms completely went away – pretty amazing to see!
5. Loss of appetite
A sudden loss of appetite is a very common symptom that comes with depression.
6. Increased appetite
Just as some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite with depression, many others will experience an increased appetite. The increased appetite is also normally for carb heavy, indulgent foods because carbs make you feel good – carbs help to increase serotonin which is the feel good hormone in your body.
7. Muscle stiffness
Muscle stiffness is a very common physical symptom that accompanies depression. If you’ve been feeling more stiff than usual, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and how your mood has been.
8. Increased pain
Depression may make your body more sensitive to pain. The most common areas for pain are the back, neck, and/or shoulders – main areas where we tend to hold stress and tension.
It is important to check in with yourself from time to time, especially if you’ve started to notice one or more of the above symptoms.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab