Do these questions sound familiar to you?
Are you often tired or exhausted? Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you have little interest in doing things you once loved? Do you feel sad, depressed or hopeless? These are typical questions asked by a psychiatrist or GP to screen for depression.
However, you can nap like a baby, work hard and train for a marathon, only to have back pain that won’t go away. In a study published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 69 % of people who met criteria for depression consulted a doctor for ailments and pains. Mood disorders can manifest themselves in surprising symptoms. Like migraines, bloating, back pain or joint pain. Also, these aches and pains do not go away if the depression is not treated.
Here are some of the most common physical symptoms associated with depression:
Up to 40 % of migraine sufferers suffer from depression. There is strong evidence linking migraine to various psychiatric and somatic disorders, ranging from stroke to anxiety disorder. 11 % of people with migraines also have one or more types of mood disorders, ranging from major depression to panic disorder.
2. Joint pain
People with fibromyalgia are 3.4 times more likely to suffer from major depression than people without fibromyalgia. It is understandable that someone with chronic joint pain is depressed. When she climbs the stairs, she hurts, as does bending over to fill the dog bowl. But what’s interesting is that stiffness, inflammation, and joint cartilage damage can actually be symptoms of depression (and cause mood swings).
3. Digestive problems
The nervous system of our intestines is so complex. It is estimated to have 500 million neurons, which neuroscientists often call the second brain. In fact, the nerve cells in our gut make 60 to 90 % of our body’s serotonin. It’s more than what our brain produces. If you’ve had stomach and digestive issues, you might be surprised to learn that some symptoms of depression and anxiety can be relieved by tending to the gut. Simply and by giving him the right kind of bacteria: probiotics, which make him happy.
Also watch out for foods that stimulate brain inflammation, such as gluten and sugar. These foods may not show up on an IgA blood test for allergies. But that doesn’t mean your body loves them. You may very well be intolerant. Which could cause symptoms of anxiety and depression. People who suffer from mood disorders also tend to be gluten sensitive, and vice versa. Depression affects up to 52% of people sensitive to gluten.
4. Chest pain
There is an intimate link between depression and cardiovascular health. 3 out of 20 suffer from heart disease suffer from depression, compared to 1 out of 20 on average without heart disease. Patients with heart disease who are depressed tend to have more heart symptoms than those who are not depressed. A study published in the journal Circulation found that people with heart failure who are moderately or severely depressed are four times more likely to die prematurely. And twice as likely to be hospitalized as people who are not depressed. Even people with mild symptoms of depression have an increased risk of death of almost 60%.
Like people with coronary heart disease, those with depression are at high risk for coronary heart disease. Depression and anxiety affect heart rhythms, increase blood pressure. Chest pain and rapid heartbeat could very well be symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
5. Back pain
Back pain is also common in people with anxiety and mood disorders. Slouching, poor back posture leads to back pain. The discomfort can also result in aches or stiffness in the spine, sharp pains in the neck, upper back or lower back. This is where people carry most of their tension. All the stress of the day is held hostage in the neck and shoulder areas. That’s why, if you can afford it, resort to regular massages to prevent depression. Or at least prevent it from escalating into a major depressive episode.
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