How Depression Manifests Itself in Aches and Pains
Depression is a disorder that’s typically associated with the mind. However, it can also cause physical symptoms that are painful, frustrating, and even debilitating.
Experts say that as many as half of depression sufferers experience bodily pain as part of their symptoms. The mind and body are connected in complex ways, and when one is not well, chances are that the other suffers too.
This is a description of how depression can manifest itself in the form of aches and pains, as well as other physical symptoms that often accompany this debilitating condition.
How Mood Disorders May Cause Aches and Pains
Mood disorders, such as depression, can lead individuals to be more aware of the pain they feel and become preoccupied with aches that normally wouldn’t bother them. Meanwhile, suffering through physical injuries is stressful and frustrating, which can worsen existing feelings of depression.
Some studies show that depressed individuals experience increased activity in the pain centers of the brain, which can lead to muscle and joint pain, as well as headaches. This is a condition that manifests itself differently in each person because of some people depression more emotionally, cognitively, or physically.
The good news is that aches and pains are some of the most common reasons that individuals seek out professional medical care, and an experienced physician may be able to pick up on underlying signs of depression in those office visits. It is important for depression to be diagnosed quickly and correctly so that an appropriate treatment can be started right away.
Other Physical Symptoms of Depression
However, body aches are certainly not the only symptoms that someone may experience while depressed. These are some of the other physical symptoms that often accompany this condition.
- Energy loss
- Abdominal pain
- Digestive problems
- Chest pain
- Musculoskeletal pain in the lower back
- Joint pain
Treatments for Depression
Some medications may help treat the symptoms of aches and pains that depression causes, but they don’t treat the actual depression disorder. For example, over-the-counter medications like Vanquish may help to relieve symptoms of headaches and achiness, but they should not be considered treatments for depression.
Individuals suffering from depression should seek immediate professional help from a doctor, counselor, psychologist, or other trusted medical practitioner. It’s easy to focus on the many symptoms that depression causes, but the only true way to treat this condition is to get to the root of the problem with compassionate and experienced care.
Antidepressants are prescribed to improve both mental and physical conditions, but some types of these drugs may be more effective for body pain than others. One recommendation is to use serotonin and norepinephrine together as dual-action agents to reduce pain symptoms in depression sufferers. However, each individual responds differently to medication and therapy, so a customized approach should be pursued after initial evaluation and ongoing monitoring. Stress management techniques and activities that reduce anxiety, such as exercise, journaling, and meditation, can help support therapeutic approaches to restore mental and physical wellness over time.
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