My Physical Symptoms of Depression

symptoms-of-depressionThere are physical symptoms of depression as well as psychological ones.

I find it hard to imagine having such a condition without feeling the physical side of it.

Do you think this condition would be as strong if you had good sleep every night, felt lots of energy, and experienced no bodily discomfort?

I think not!

Physical depression symptoms do exist even though the condition is widely considered a psychological disorder.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue or exhaustion – This is probably my most prevalent physical symptom. I notice that I feel more fatigued when I’m not excited about the days ahead, or in the winter when there is less daylight and it’s cold outside.Sleep disturbances – I have problems with sleep as well. As I’m writing this page, I often stress about how I don’t enjoy working in my current profession anymore. This causes me anxiety, affects my sleep and leads to fatigue.
  • Muscular pain – I’ve read that decreased serotonin (a neurotransmitter) levels associated with depression can be responsible for pain and discomfort. Occasionally I feel pain in my lower calf muscles when I am really tired.
  • Loss in sex drive – This is also associated with fatigue and serotonin levels. Not fun…
  • Changes in appetite/weight loss or gain – Serotonin also helps regulate eating habits. Many of us that are depressed can be prone to eat too much or too little. I have had periods where I have done both, and weight has fluctuated as much as 20 pounds.
  • Difficulty concentrating – I find that fatigue and sleep disturbances are largely responsible for this. It’s hard for me to concentrate when I don’t feel well physically.

The above are all common symptoms. In my case, the causes are what give me stress and anxiety which lead to disturbed sleep and fatigue. Muscular pain, changes in appetite/weight loss or gain and concentration difficulties arise.

However like depression itself, the physical symptoms can also be caused by medical conditions so it is important to consult your doctor to evaluate if there are other potential causes.