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Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Unexpected Physical Symptoms Of Depression

We tend to think of depression as an invisible illness.
People are increasingly aware of the emotional and mental symptoms, but there are a whole host of unexpected physical symptoms that are associated with depression too, and often people don’t make the link.
Here are a few to be aware of.

Numb and tingling hands

This strange feeling can be caused by stress or shallow breathing, so is often associated with depression linked to anxiety. If you recognise it in yourself, try this online test to see if it’s depression-related.

Hair loss

Stress and depression can cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to hair loss. Some medications can also affect your hair too, so if you’ve noticed it thinning, speak to your doctor about your options.


Sweating is a common symptom of mental health issues, as it’s one of your body’s fight or flight responses. If you’ve noticed you’re sweating more than usual, in unexpected situations, speak to your GP.

Change to appetite

Depression affects everyone differently. Some may find their appetite entirely disappears, which can cause unwanted weight loss and increased fatigue and lethargy. Others may find their appetite increases, often combined with sugar cravings as their bodies cry out for a hit of energy. This in turn can cause unwanted weight gain, and sugar rushes and crashes.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations can be the symptom of a physical heart problem, and should never be taken lightly. But often they’re not a symptom of a heart condition, but are instead linked to mental health issues. Depression can cause an over-sensitive nervous system, flooded with high levels of various hormones, which can cause a racing heart, as well as missed beats and even chest pains.
If you are having any kind of heart problems, head to your doctor immediately.

Menstrual cycle changes

Depression can cause surges in hormones, especially if it’s combined with stress or anxiety, which can cause the stress hormone cortisol to spike. Prolonged hormone fluctuations can cause problems with your menstrual cycle, which may become heavier or conversely stop altogether. If you have noticed a change, visit your GP.

Digestive problems

It’s increasingly well known that we have more serotonin (the happy chemical) receptors in our gut than we do in our brain, and many digestive problems have now been linked with emotional and mental illnesses. Depression can cause a full spectrum of these problems, from constipation to diarrhoea , stomach aches with no apparent cause and feeling nauseous.
This can be a vicious cycle as feeling unwell can make sufferers feel even worse mentally, so it’s vital you head to your doctor with any stomach discomfort.

Being unable to sleep

One well-known symptom of depression is over-sleeping and lack of energy. But some people find they’re unable to actually fall asleep. This is just as troublesome and can cause tiredness and difficulties getting up in the daytime because there is such a huge sleep debt. Good sleep hygiene can help some, but if the root cause is undiagnosed depression, it’s important to seek help. Everyone knows how much worse everything feels after a bad night’s sleep, so when this becomes chronic, it can cause despair.
Despair can lead you down some dangerous paths...drugs, alcohol and even suicidal thoughts. Take care of your emotional self with the same concern and attention you pay to your physical self. Be well.


  1. This is very good and sound advice ... it may or may not be depression , the advice to see a doctor is right on spot . There may be another illness hiding in the doctor and the doctor can detect it ... the quicker they detect it the better it has a chance of being cured .
    Great and much needed post .
    It's good to get a checkup if you notice in changes .
    Love PIC

  2. Depression is becoming more and more prevalent in people 18 to 40. I think a lot of it is the complex, frightening and very harsh world we live in now and the amount of stress on an average person is double what our parents endured. People lose heart and feel more isolated than previous generations.
    Thank you
    Luv PIC


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