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Physical Symptoms of Depression

Updated on January 7, 2015

Your body will often tell you when something is wrong

It was my senior year in high school, and only months earlier my step dad walked out on my family, my boyfriend and I broke up, and life was rapidly changing for me. I’m not sure I felt as if anything was really wrong. Though I was dealing with my sadness, nothing felt out of the ordinary until I started getting sick. It was every two weeks, to the day, that I found myself at the doctor’s office or in the emergency room with signs of severe strep throat. My throat ached so bad it was hard to swallow, my fever would get very high, and my whole body ached. I was treated with antibiotics every time, while they waited for the results of the strep test. It would take only days and I would fully recover, only to find myself sick again two weeks later.

This cycle continued for almost 6 months, preparations were being made for me to have my tonsils removed, after they ran every test they could think of, they all came back negative. My body started to get exhausted from being sick so much, I kept losing weight and I felt drained.



A light at the end of the tunnel

An amazing doctor by the name of Catrina Groves decided to try one last thing with me before sending me into the operating room. She talked to my mom and I about anti-depression medication and counseling. She said depression can sometimes cause unexplained physical sickness.This shocked both my mother and I, as we had no idea depression could physically manifest itself. I started the medication and counseling. I had just gotten over being sick and prepared myself for being sick again two weeks later, but it didn’t happen.

The counseling continued for almost 2 years and I ended my medication a couple years after that, but I never got sick again. It astounded me that an internal suffering of depression could cause me to become so physically sick. After this ordeal I was more aware of my body and the signs that something might be wrong. Our bodies are very powerful and they will, without a doubt, tell us when something isn’t right, it is up to us to listen and recognize these signs. I am glad that I had an amazing doctor and family to help me find out what was wrong.

Know if you are suffereing from depression

Suffering from depression is a painful experience, emotional signs of depression can vary and are more clearly recognized. Physical signs are often mistaken for something else and can be misdiagnosed by both doctor and patient. Listen to your body and be aware of the physical signs of depression.

Physical signs you may be suffering from depression

· Headaches

· Body Aches

· Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

· Change in appetite

· Trouble sleeping, sleeping too little or too much

· Fatigue

· Body aches and pains

· Unexplained illness

· Digestive Problems

· Back pain


Other signs of depression

· Lack of concentration

· Lack of interest in things that normally interest you

· Being overwhelmed by normal everyday activities

· Self criticism, self loathing, feelings of worthlessness

· Irritability

· A sense of ‘sadness’ that lasts longer than two weeks


Don't Ignore the Symptoms

Above are only some symptoms of depression. Our bodies can inform us in numerous ways. In order for us to be physically healthy we must also take care of ourselves mentally. If you feel you or someone you know may be suffering from depression talk to your doctor and get help. You don't need to suffer alone the first step is recognizing there is a problem.


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    • Mandeeadair profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from California

      RichERrich1175 and Curiad,

      Thank you for the compliments, and yes I hope this done help some people. Thanks for reading.

      Carlene...made ya think? :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      7 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Great article, well done.

    • RichERich1175 profile image


      7 years ago

      Being one who has suffered from depression, I truly appreciate you taking the time to write this article. Hopefully, those that are inflicted with this debilitating disease will take a look at your hub. I can help a multitude of people.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • Mandeeadair profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from California


      I know many people who have not suffered from depression who have questioned whether or not depression is real, its hard to explain to someone the what depression can do to you, so I figured writing it out would help. Thanks for reading.


      Thank you for reading and I really hope it does raise awareness.

    • chspublish profile image


      7 years ago from Ireland

      A grea hub to raise the awareness of this disease.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I totally agree with your symptoms list, and as a sufferer myself I have hubbed on this exact same subject. This is an excellent hub that will benefit many. I just wish more people who don't suffer from depression would read this kind of stuff, because then they might believe depression is real and not something people claim in order to avoid going to work or to justify why they sleep so much. Very frustrating for people who genuinely have this condition.

    • Mandeeadair profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from California


      It amazed me as well to find out that depression could cause these symptoms, until it happened to me. Thanks for reading and the kind feedback.

    • dkanofsky profile image


      7 years ago from Bethalto, Illinois

      Wow! Never experienced physical signs to the degree mentioned in your hub when I was going through depression. Thanks for the information. Outstanding!

      Kindest regards,


    • Mandeeadair profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from California

      Sinea Pies,

      Thank you for sharing the story of your teen as well, I am so glad she was able to overcome it with the love and prayer that you gave her! It can be a very difficult thing for teens to experience, especially because most lkely they have no idea what depression is, and the feelings that go along with it can be very scary.


      Thank you, I know I am not the only one who has experienced this type of hard as it was to go through I am glad I can easily share the story now.

    • Kaye McCulloch profile image

      Kaye McCulloch 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Great hub and an amazing story of how intensely physical the symptoms of depression can be - not just vague aches and pains and tiredness, but real debilitating illness. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      LOVE this article. Many will benefit from it. For those of us who have never been clinically depressed for any length of time, I don't think we can appreciate the severity of the problem. Having had friends who have had to deal with it, I do appreciate the need for compassion for the sufferers and their need of medical help. They can't just "snap out of it" on their own.

      As a mom and grandma with a benefit of having lived longer than many, I can suggest what mildly depressed people might try. Prayer. Sounds strange to those who reserve prayer for crisis situations but I do mean it. Ask God for help. And, do what He says which is to think on the things that are "good true pure lovely and of a good report". Our teenager was NOT a person of prayer when she began to hit a I did the praying,behind the scenes.

      She wouldn't eat, unless it was Diet Pepsi and choc chip cookies. Her bedroom was dark, she slept all the time and she was listening to very negative music. So, we gently worked on her to come out of the cave, brighten the room, added McDonald's to her junkie diet (not great but better) and showed her how to stop feeding the funk. She asked for new music to build up her spirits instead of tearing them down (in the '80's it was harder to find) and she did come out of it. Her thoughts needed to be changed.


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