We all go through it some time but with different degrees. I’m talking about feeling down, blue, depressed. It doesn’t feel good and of course, not fun!
Real changes can happen within your body with depression. Your digestion can slow down and will result in stomach problems. We know about the emotional symptoms of depression but chronic pain can also be a physical symptom. Depression can cause real changes in your body and they aren’t just in your head!
Many conditions will hide these symptoms of depression so those experiencing depression may never get the help they need. Realizing their physical problems could be caused by their mental illness, might not happen. Even doctors will miss them as well.
Improper regulation in nerve cell networks or pathways that connect brain areas processing emotional information seem to be related to depression. The information for sending physical pain is also processed through these networks. The experts believe that depression can make you feel pain differently than other people. Chronic pain may get worse such as the following:
- Headaches. They are usually common and if you have already experienced them, they may seem worse with depression.
- Back Pain.
- Muscle aches and joint pain.
- Chest pain that can be a sign of serious heart, stomach, lung or other problems. Depression can add to the discomfort as below:
- Digestive problems. You may feel queasy or nauseated and have diarrhea or become constipated.
- Exhaustion and fatigue. Even sleeping a lot will not help you from feeling tired or worn out. Even getting out of bed in the morning is hard and seems utterly impossible.
- Sleeping problems. Depression can cause people to no longer sleep well, waking too early and not being able to fall asleep when bedtime comes. Some people with depression sleep more than they normally would.
- Change in appetite or weight. The appetite can be lost with depression and the person might lose weight. Some people, on the other hand, crave certain food like carbohydrates and weigh more.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
If you experience any of these physical symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor. They can treat you with therapy or medicine, or possibly both. If they give you medication for depression, it will tweak the chemicals your nerve cell networks use to communicate and make them work more efficiently.
Your physician may prescribe antidepressants that may also help with the chronic pain, but something else might be needed as an anti-anxiety or sleep medication for insomnia so you can relax and sleep better.
Easing your pain may lift your depression as well since pain and depression can sometimes go together. You might even try cognitive behavioral therapy to learn ways to better deal with your pain.
If you have a natural doctor, I would suggest you visit them. They may have natural protocols that can be used but its not a good idea to try to treat yourself.
–Dr Fredda Branyon