• Shruti GOCHHWAL

13 Physical Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is a mental health condition that is majorly characterised by persistent sadness, feelings of guilt, and hopelessness. It is also characterized by other symptoms like difficulty in being attentive, lack of productivity, and an overall sense of being irrevocably lost somewhere. But can this extremely common mental health condition have certain physical signs and symptoms too? Are there any physical symptoms of depression? There sure are. Mental health is intimately connected to physical health. How you are feeling inside will in some way be reflected outside. It is same for depression.

How can mental health issues cause physical symptoms? Mental illnesses like depression alter the balance of hormones as well as sleep cycles in people. They result in a number of physical conditions. Also, mental illnesses affect the social and cognitive functioning of individuals due to which they are less inclined to adopt healthy living behaviours. People suffering from depression stop taking care of their health. They even resort to unhealthy eating habits and substance abuse. All this results in a wide range of physical conditions.

What Are Physical Symptoms of Depression?

emotional health

A sad woman, Credit: Caanva


People with depression may experience chronic limb and joint pain, back pain, digestive issues, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and appetite fluctuations. In fact, in many people, physical symptoms of depression are what makes it possible for the doctor to diagnose this condition. Also, many medications like antidepressants used in the treatment make the patients experience side effects. These side effects are also physical in nature. The more painful physical symptoms of depression are, the greater the severity of depression. Some of the common symptoms include

  1. Appetite changes and weight fluctuations are common physical symptoms of depression. Patients often resort to emotional eating which results in weight gain over a period of time. They can also lose their appetite and stop feeding their body which results in weakness and considerable weight loss.

  2. Those who are depressed are also stressed at the same time. Increased levels of stress lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. It makes them prone to cardiovascular diseases.

  3. An increased sense of exhaustion is another major physical symptom. People who are depressed are always feeling tired and are not able to concentrate for long periods of time.

  4. Lack of energy is also one of the major physical symptoms of depression. Patients are not able to sleep well and hence they struggle with their low energy levels every day. Many medications also result in the patient feeling fatigued.

  5. Sleep disorders are other symptoms of mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression. People are not able to fall asleep at the right time and get quality sleep. Sometimes, they sleep too much and other times, they might remain awake throughout the night. It gives rise to sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

  6. People with depression also struggle with a weak immune system. It happens because they do not care about eating healthy food. It makes them prone to catching a variety of infections and diseases.

  7. Chronic inflammation is another regular physical symptoms of depression whose causes are still not explored.

  8. Digestive issues like constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, and nausea are also frequently experienced by those suffering from depression.

  9. People may also experience increased pain sensitivity when they are suffering from mental health issues.

  10. Migraines and headaches are also a common physical symptom of various health conditions. It is one of the most common symptoms that people who are depressed face.

  11. One of the other lesser-known physical symptoms of depression is a lack of proper vision. Often, these people are disturbed by obscure or hazy vision. They find it difficult to distinguish between colours like black and white.

  12. People with depression suffer from an inflamed digestive system. The stomach becomes a place where various infections develop. It is common for a depressed individual to complain about stomach pain on a regular basis.

  13. Depression raises the risk of heart ailments. People can be found reporting chest pain during the course of their treatment.

What Happens to Your Body When You Are Sad?

physical symptoms of depression

A stressed man, Credit: Caanva


Why does emotional pain hurt physically? It is a question that many people seek the answer. When you are sad, your body releases cortisol or the stress hormones. They are responsible for high blood pressure and sugar. High-stress levels impact your immune system negatively. They lead to appetite changes and you either start eating too much or eat very less. All this negatively affects your health and when left unchecked over a period of time, can result in dangerous consequences.

Depression is a very common condition that if left untreated, can even result in death. You are in charge of your health. Being aware of the physical symptoms of depression will help you to identify it yourself or any of your loved one and get suitable treatment in time.

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