7 Physical Symptoms That Prove Depression Is Real And Not Just In Your Head

7 Physical Symptoms That Prove Depression Is Real And Not Just In Your Head

Research has shown that depression could often trigger various physical ailments. So, next time you visit your doctor don't overlook the symptoms and inform them.

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For years, depression has been considered taboo in many countries by many despite its legitimacy proved by various research studies. The fact that this mental illness can also manifest a myriad of physical ailments is often dismissed by people who pair it with emotional ailments like crying, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness. This lack of information makes the diagnosis and treatment of a person suffering from depression more challenging for doctors. Thus, keeping these symptoms in mind could help one determine the onset or at least have a hint about whether or not you're are experiencing it. So, for those who are unaware of how one's physical ailments could be caused due to psychological distress (which could be damaging for one's overall well-being), here are a few common symptoms of depression.

1. Headache 

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Most of us have experienced occasional headaches at some point in our lives. But most of the time we shrug it off thinking its nothing serious. Working or existing in a stressful environment might trigger headaches, however, depression too can do the same if you start experiencing it regularly. Headaches related to depression might not be as severe as migraine headaches but they are present. The National Headache Foundation describes it as "tension headaches" which might feel like a mild throbbing sensation, especially around your eyebrow region. Although over the counter medications could help with the pain, it does tend to happen regularly. But it's not the only symptom of depression as affected individuals often experience additional symptoms like decreased tolerance to pain, exhaustion, and irritation.  

2. Constantly feeling tired or fatigue

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Contrary to popular belief that only stress causes exhaustion, depression too can trigger a sluggish feeling. There might have been days when you just didn't feel like leaving your bed even to attend work due to low energy levels, however, when it persists for a longer period of time it might be due to depression. Even the Director of the Clinical Research Program at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Maurizio Fava, explained how depressed people might feel tired despite a full night of rest. Unlike regular fatigue, depression makes it hard for individuals to concentrate and feel irritated most of the time. 

3. Back or muscle pain throughout your body

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Say, you're at work or school and suddenly your back starts to hurt. Despite beginning your day on a good note this might happen and could be a cause of stress or maybe depression. Most of the time back pains are associated with bad postures however it could also be a symptom of psychological distress. In 2017, a research study was conducted which involved 1,013 Canadian university students and researchers found a direct link between depression and backaches. For long psychologists and psychiatrists have believed that emptional distress could trigger chronic aches and pains, however, the connection between depression and the human body's inflammatory response is still being researched.

4. Unclear vision or eye problems

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Does the world before you seem blurry? A 2016 study conducted in Germany found that depression might actually affect an individual's eyesight. When someone says that everything looks bleak, known as "contrast perception" by researchers, to them it could be due to depression. The research involving 80 people found that the ones who were depressed had difficulty in discerning the difference between black and white.

5. Everything hurts more than it should 

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Have you ever experienced pain in your nerves when there's no reason for it? Apparently, depression and physical pain tend to co-exist, according to a 2015 study. It demonstrates the association between people with depression and a decreased tolerance towards pain. Another study conducted in 2017 reveals how depressed people are more affected by pain. Although both these symptoms don't have a definite cause-and-effect relationship, it's very important to assess them together. 

6. Abdominal pain

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One of the most recognizable signs of depression is that sinking feeling in your stomach. Most of the time when your stomach starts to cramp, it's dismissed at menstrual pain or gas. However, the pain worsens with the increase in stress levels and this could be a sign that you're suffering from poor mental health. Researches at Harvard Medical School have found that stomach cramps, nausea, and bloating might be a sign of depression. 

7. Digestion Issue 

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Irregular bowel movement can often be caused due to constipation and diarrhea. While they are often caused by food poisoning or gastrointestinal viruses, it could also stem from physical ailments. A 2011 study suggests that emotions like sadness and anxiety could affect our digestion process. The study also found links between depression, anxiety, and gastrointestinal pain.

The most important thing is to be aware of your physical changes. If you suspect that your physical pain might be linked to depression and if the pain persists for a long time its best to consult your primary care doctor.

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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