The title of this blog probably does not come as a surprise: When your mind shuts down your body reacts as well. It is not a positive reaction. It is directly connected to our brain chemistry. The neurons that are not acting as they should–a chemical imbalance. Simple, Right?
Dopamine, our happy drug, hides somewhere and we find ourselves wondering where he went. Or where she went for equalities sake.
Identifying the Physical Symptoms of Depression
So, here is what we know: Depression is not simply a collection of psychological symptoms it is also physical in nature. Just as high levels of stress cause physical illness, depression does as well. Depression and stress arrive together. It’s sort of a crappy package deal–a co-dependent relationship.
When my mood begins to drop I am hit with migraines. Red flag. I cannot move. I cannot take pain killers because I was an addict (dammit) and Advil is like candy. They have drugs for migraines that are not opiates but they interfere with certain antidepressants. Like the ones I’m taking. Yes, more than one. Two. Good things come in pairs apparently.
The symptoms are different for all of us, and the list is long, but here are some of the more common symptoms:
>Muscle aches and joint pain. Sometimes, my teeth even hurt.
>A feeling of breathlessness usually related to anxiety.
>Digestive problems. I will spare us all details.
>Insomnia or oversleeping. Also, waking up consistently during the night.
>A change in appetite. I lose mine; often people eat more. We are all different.
>Flu like symptoms.
>Skin changes. Yes, your once clear skin can be hit with the sort of acne you had when you were fifteen. You might find yourself searching for acne medication online when you have insomnia.
The list goes on. The bottom line? Depression is also a physical disease but we can use these symptoms to alert us to mood changes.
Recognizing Physical Symptoms of Depression and Using Them to Avoid Relapse
Yes, these awful symptoms can be used to alert you to a potential relapse. Depression creeps up on you slowly, but recognizing changes in sleep or appetite can make it possible to identify a relapse before it takes over your life.
A flu can just be a flu, we all get sick, but it can also allow you to take inventory of your mood.When you feel a little down take note of how your body is feeling; write down any changes in appetite and sleep.
If you start connecting your physicality to your mental health you can avoid relapse and remain on the road to recovery. A road with less headaches and sleepless nights.
Use physical symptoms to your advantage.