Physical Signs Of Mental Illness To Watch Out For

Physical Signs Of Mental Illness To Watch Out For
You think depression only affects your mental state? Here are some physical signs that prove it affects your body negatively as well.

We always know that depression is a mental illness, but we do not always associate it with physical pain – even though the signs are there.

Depression does hurt, because of the emotional turmoil it puts you in. feelings of despair, and intense sadness are very draining, but that can manifest itself in physical pain as well. This is particularly in cultures that do not allow for open discussions on mental health or for certain professions such as handling veteran addiction treatment. This is mainly due to it being perceived as a ‘taboo’ subject and it affects physical health as well. For instance, in Korean and Chinese culture, they see actual depression as a myth, and they treat physical symptoms as purely that, instead of treating them as psychological symptoms.

However, it is important to keep the health of your mind as a priority, and your physical health as well. Keeping tabs on how you are mentally and physically is a good place to start, because physical signs can alert you that something else is happening. Here are some physical signs of depression that you should note.


Constant low levels of energy and fatigue


A common physical sign of depression is low energy levels. Of course, you cannot be on high energy levels all the time, for instance when you have just woken up in the morning.

While stress is a common reason for fatigue, depression is also another reason. However, it is not the same as the fatigue you experience every day; it also leads to problems in concentration, apathy, and frequent irritability. In fact, a person suffering from depression will often have sleep that is non-restorative, so they will feel sluggish even when they have gotten a full night of rest.

Fatigue is however difficult to determine whether it is due to depression, or some other cause like illnesses such as viral infections. You can point it out using other signs though – anhedonia (the lack of enthusiasm in your daily activities), a general feeling of hopelessness and sadness.


Reduced pain tolerance


A person suffering from depression is irritable most of the time, and this might be due to constantly feeling pain in their body despite there being no logical reason for their pain. You spend your day with your nerves yon fire, yet you cannot seem to know the exact cause – and that alone is tiring.

In fact, a study that was done in 2005 showed that there was a strong relation between decreasing pain tolerance and the onset of depression, while a 2010 study revealed that people who are depressed seem to experience gre4ater impacts of pain. The two do not have a cause-and-effect relationship per say, but it remains important that they are evaluated together, particularly if you have received some medication prescription.

Certain research findings also seem to suggest that the use of anti-depressants can help to manage pain by acting as an analgesic, aside from their benefits in dealing with depressive symptoms.


Aching muscles and back


Along with reduced tolerance to pain comes the onset of aching muscles. You might feel okay when you wake up, but you go to school or work and suddenly experience back pains. Even though these are usually associated with injuries or poor posture, they can also be a major sign of psychological distress.

There has been a long held belief by psychiatrists and psychologists that emotional issues are a major cause of chronic body aches and back pains, although how they lead to that is still under research – including the inflammatory response of the body to depression. Newer results suggest it may be due to the neuro-circuits within the brain. Because inflammation in any part of the body will interrupt the signals between the neurons, this may have a part to play in managing depression.


Frequent headaches


Just because you experience a headache once in a while does not mean you have depression – after all, they can be due to several reasons. They can be really common that you dismiss them as nothing serious, such as when you are dehydrated, stressed from arguing with someone, or have not slept well.

However, you need to investigate that annoying headache when it begins to be a daily occurrence, because that is not normal. It may not reduce your ability to function like a normal headache does, but it feels like a mild throb in your head, particularly around the eyebrow area.

The headache might be resolved when you take some over the counter medication, but it soon returns after some time on a regular basis. You need to note though, headaches are not the sole indicator that you are experiencing psychological pain. A person with depression will also go through additional signs, including decreasing levels of energy, sadness, and feeling irritable.


Problems with vision


Mental health concerns can affect your eyesight, especially depression – whether you know it or not. This is according to a study that was done in 2010, as it showed that depressed individuals had a major problem when trying to see the world in black and white terms.

This phenomenon is known as contrast perception, and it is a good explanation of why the world seems hazy to these individuals.


Pain in the abdomen or stomach uneasiness


This is among the earliest signs, although it is easy to dismiss it as a case of feeling gassy or experiencing menstrual pain.

You should note how your stomach behaves in certain situations, especially when you are under stress – this can give you pointers if the issue is depression. If you realize that you pain is getting worse during such moments, in addition to feeling nausea, vomiting, bloating or cramps, then that is a sign that your mental health needs to be checked.

The reason behind this is that depression is an easy cause for inflamed digestive systems, and the pain resulting from it can be mistaken for bowel illnesses. There is a strong connecting between the gut and your brain, so it can be affected easily when mental health is poor.


Final thoughts


Even though depression can be due to many factors, there is no mistaking that it can cause some physical signs in your body. If you are going through a tough time with your emotional and mental health, pay attention to your body as well – it may alert you when there is something wrong.
 
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