Are you having the physical symptoms of depression?
It is not always the low mood in depression. It is possible that you have a normal or near normal mood and still have depression.
Sounds strange? But this is true.
The general perception about depression is that as it is a psychiatric illness, the symptoms of the disease are only psychological and not physical. This concept is wrong.
Depression along with psychological symptoms has physical symptoms as well. This makes it difficult for you to recognize that these physical symptoms are due to depression or some other illness. Even doctors can miss it!
In medical terms the physical symptoms can be called somatic symptoms. In other words it is called somatization of depression which means the body starts having physical symptoms of the psychological disease.
In one research study, around 69% of the patients suffering from major depression presented with physical symptoms rather than psychological symptoms. (N Engl J Med 1999; 341:1329.)
The physical symptoms can involve any system of the body. They reach to an extent that the patient has to seek medical help for them. They can include:
1.Pain in different parts of the body for example neck and shoulder pain, headache, joint pain and pain in back.
2.Symptoms related to the stomach and intestines for example abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
3.Symptoms related to heart and lungs for example palpitations, dizziness, difficulty in breathing and even chest pain.
4.Symptoms related to the reproductive system for example menorrhagia(prolonged and profused menses), dyspareunia(pain during sexual intercourse), dysmenorrhea(painful menstruation) and burning sensation in the sexual organs.
5.Fainting, muscle weakness, blurred vision, difficulty speaking and difficulty in walking can also occur.
There are certain other physical symptoms which are part of the symptoms of major depression. They however may not be considered as part of somatization. These include:
1.Weight gain or weight loss2.Increased or decreased appetite 3.Increased or decreased sleep
4.Lack of energy
With the initiation of appropriate treatment at the right time these physical symptoms can be reversed. Moreover you should look for other signs and symptoms of depression so that you are not misled by these physical symptoms.
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