Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there physical symptoms of depression?"
I think I might be depressed. Coming off a bad break up and in a new town, kind of lonely. I'm also exhausted all the time and get headaches. Is this from depression? Can your body tell you you're depressed?
I highly recommend that you get in to see your primary care doctor for a checkup. It is definitely possible that these symptoms are from depression. As you know, even though depression is primarily a mood problem, many of the symptoms of depression are experienced as physical sensations. These can include extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping, subjective aches and pains, and disturbances in appetite. Headache intensity and frequency can also be modified significantly by your stress levels and mood. Your doctor will be able to help you make a fuller assessment of your social situation and your level of functioning, asking questions specifically to determine whether or not you show signs of depression. At the same time, they will check to make sure you don't have any signs of other medical problems that could produce the same symptoms (problems with the thyroid gland, for example). If they diagnose you with depression, then there are several therapeutic options for you. These include going to see a psychiatrist, as well as various medications. Many of the medications for depression are highly effective with manageable side effects, and your doctor will help you to determine which, if any, medication is right for you.
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