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Physical symptoms that demonstrate depression is not just a mental illness

Physical symptoms that demonstrate depression is not just a mental illness

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Depression is painful. But, we always associate this pain with emotional outbursts like crying, sadness, and feelings of despondency. But, recent research studies have revealed that depression can also cause physical pain.

Most of us find it difficult to speak openly about mental health and we rarely link it with physical symptoms. But, the truth is that the human body experiences several things when the person is depressed. These physical signs are no less important than the emotional impacts. Awareness about these symptoms can give us a clue when we are about to experience a depressive period. They also prove that depression is something real, that many people struggle dealing with it, and it affects our overall health.

Common signs that we notice in the body when depressed:

  1. Aching muscles and back pain- Although sore muscles and back pain can be due to injuries and bad posture, psychological distress is another causative agent. Psychiatrists have opined that emotional issues give birth to chronic aches at times.
  2. Lack of energy- Lack of energy is perhaps the most common symptom we have when depressed. If a person is happy, he looks forward to spending the day doing productive things. But, if you face difficulty getting out of bed or feel fatigued even after hours of sleep, it is clear that this exhaustion comes from stress. You’ll also feel irritable and find it challenging to concentrate on our work.
  3. Lessens pain tolerance- Have you ever felt like all the nerves in your body are on fire but you are unable to point out a physical reason behind the pain? Let us tell you that pain and depression are directly proportional to one another. So, when you are upset about something, your pain tolerance decreases. This is the reason why anti-depressants do not just provide relief from grief but also combat pain.
  4. Headaches- We all get headaches occasionally for several reasons. But, stress at work or disputes with people tend to trigger headaches. Frequent headaches can either be an indication of depression or eye ailments.
  5. Abdominal pain- Sinking feeling in the stomach is the most apparent sign of possible depression. If abdomen begins to cramp, we mostly assume it’s because of menstrual pain or gas. But, stomach discomfort such as bloating, nausea, and cramps may hint towards weak mental health.
  6. Decreased vision- Mental health can also affect eyesight or decreases vision. Depressed persons have difficulty differentiating between white and black.
  7. Digestive problems- Digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Other than food poisoning, anxiety and sadness also disrupt the digestive tracks, resulting in gastrointestinal pain.


Several factors like childhood trauma, weight gain, weight loss, brain chemistry, and genetics can lead to depression. If you do not let out distressing emotions such as anger, shame, sadness etc., they have adverse effects on the mind and the body. So, if you experience such symptoms for a long period, it is better to consult a doctor.



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