Depression ~OR~ Something Else


Depression Symptoms: Physical

Depression is sometimes linked to physical symptoms. These include:

  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia, especially early-morning waking
  • Excessive sleep
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Depression can make other health problems feel worse, particularly chronic pain. Key brain chemicals influence both mood and pain. Treating depression has been shown to improve co-existing illnesses.

This summary is as concise, specific and clear as it can be. It is short, sweet and to-the-point which makes it easy to read and process.  WebMD is known for being easy to read, making it an excellent resource.  So why am I posting this?

The symptoms for depression are also the symptoms of multiple other illnesses.  I think the post is too short and sweet, and could serve to discourage patients from seeking medical help.  How many times do patients seek medical care to be told there’s nothing wrong with them physically?  I frequently hear sad, discouraged patients talk about how blown-off and dismissed they feel because their health problems are not easily deciphered and the MD tells them: “I think you’re depressed”. I hate to see something as serious as depression treated as a catch-all with a list of vague symptoms.

What’s the point I want you to take away from this?  A diagnosis of depression requires more than matching symptoms to a list on the internet.  Seek medical attention if you have symptoms–talk to your medical professional reasonably and give specific information.  THEN get a second or even third opinion if you feel you aren’t being heard.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. phylor
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:12:31

    In my case, my chronic depression may have “hide” other mental health issues. With the lack of good professional mental health assistance (further limited by what’s in and out of network) means chronic depression is “easier” (NOT) for the medical profession to deal with.
    I notice that tv adds are now promoting cymbalta for aches and pains — don’t think these ads (unless in the find print) mention that originally it was subsribed for depression with aches and pains as physical manifestations of the “mental” aspects of depression.
    That’s all my rant for now. If I get going . . .
    Thanks for bringing this important issue forward!


  2. Jane
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 17:58:24

    As much as I love my doctor, it irks me when he assumes fatigue is simple depression. Not saying I’m not depressed, I’m saying something else is ALSO making me tired.


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