To many of us, depression pertains JUST to our mental health. If you are dealing with depression, though, you may not know that it can manifest itself physically in your body. These physical signs are worth noting because when we only pay attention to what’s going on inside our heads, it’s easy to become desensitized to our own experiences, making it difficult to note our progress. They’re also worth mentioning because our loves ones are more likely to vent about their aches and pains than they are about their mental health.
Everything Hurts More
Studies have shown us that people who are experiencing depression also experience a lower pain tolerance. They may also experience inexplicable aches and pains throughout your body. Before immediately jumping to pain-relievers, first take stock of your mental health. Talk therapy may very well help with the pain you’re feeling.
Headaches are a normal experience, especially in a world that has become nothing but hustle and bustle. We may attribute it to work, stressful relationships, or not hydrating properly. However, studies have shown us that headaches can be a symptom of depression—especially when they become a daily struggle. Headaches caused by depression are not like migraines in that they don’t often take you out of commission. However, they will begin to wear on you as they become a more regular occurrence if you do not receive the help you need.
Upset stomachs, feelings of being bloated, diarrhea—these are all ways in which depression can physically rear its ugly head. In fact, the pain associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is so similar to those experiencing stomach pains stemming from depression that patients are often diagnosed. Our stomach is almost like a second brain. In the same way that depression can affect your mental state, your stomach will pick up on the internal turmoil and begin to follow suit. Interestingly enough, a healthy diet has been proven to alleviate some symptoms of depression. To read more about the relationship between the body and the mind, read our other blog entries: How Anxiety Affects Your Body