The Physical Symptoms of Depression
The Physical Symptoms of Depression
The Physical Symptoms of Depression – With 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental illness in the UK and 1 in 6 being affected specifically by anxiety and depression, people of ages all ages are impacted in their own individual, intricate ways. From skipping important meals to missing work and school, this all-consuming disorder tends to take over your reasons to leave the house and instead cause you a crippling amount of sadness and anxiety.
It can often be easy to forget what life was like prior to this; however, it is important to remember you don’t have to live life under the shadow of your anxieties. Your depression does not define you and it can be beaten. This is why I have created this article based on the innumerable physical symptoms of depression and how recognising them is the first significant step to recovery.
Changes in Appetite and Weight
Because people are affected in completely different ways, appetite and weight loss can often fluctuate within those suffering from depression. If you find yourself unable to get out of bed, or motivate yourself to perform simple everyday responsibilities, then you’ve probably found yourself losing weight; however, if you find comfort in food and the happy fulfilling feeling it brings to you, then you’ve probably found the opposite outcome.
Everyone’s reasons or underlying issues for their depression stems from different causes, meaning most symptoms will be different for everyone. This can be due to just a lower self-esteem, or even a complete lack of energy (further explained below). But it is also important to remember that once you feel as though you have a problem, you must contact a medical professional. Dramatic fluctuation of weight could greatly affect other body function and further impact you physical and mental health.
Lack of Energy
Personally, the biggest impact I found (and still find) after realising I had depression was the lack of energy I had. Even after 10 hours or more of sleep, I couldn’t work out why I was always tired. But after visiting my GP, he told me one very important thing: establish a routine and sleep will come naturally to you.
If you sleep for too long, or for too little, chemicals within your body will become disrupted and create an imbalance which will ultimately lead to fatigue and a lack of energy. The chemicals we possess are very powerful and must be respected to remain a functioning member of society. To feel rested, a maximum 8 hours of sleep is recommended. Even if your depression is telling you to stay asleep, find something to do which will motivate you to get up and remain busy until it is time to go to bed at an appropriate time. The busier your daily routine becomes, the better you will feel.
Lack of Motivation
With a lack of energy also comes a lack of motivation to complete even the simplest of jobs. This can involve life’s necessities such as keeping clean or even manging your own money (but resources such as this mental health and money advice site can help with this so you can focus on getting better and managing your illness). In order to improve this, then it is definitely recommended that you speak to your GP, especially if these feelings impact your attitude towards living. But one way that you can help yourself is yet again through the establishing of a routine. By incorporating things that you love and enjoy taking part in into your schedule, you’re more likely to feel satisfied for getting out of bed and achieving something rather than wallowing on repeat for hours upon end. Anything is better than nothing, and your mental illness does not own you.
Changes to Your Menstrual Cycle
It is not yet known the exact cause of why depression can affect your menstrual cycle. However, because the mental illness is renowned for causing chemical and hormonal imbalances, this can ultimately lead to a missed period or even a skipped one. Either way, if you notice a change in your menstrual cycle, then unquestionably contact your doctor, especially as this can be linked to many other causes.
An increase in your appetite and the overall weight that you put on may also be another reason for fluctuations in your periods. This is due to an excessive amount of oestrogen being produced. Not only does this create a hormonal imbalance, but it can cause your periods to become irregular or to cease altogether.
So, after reading this article, I hope you have identified potential reasons for why you have contracted these symptoms; however, it is important to remember that this is not the equivalent of your doctor’s professional opinion. So, stop reading, book an appointment with you GP and begin your journey to a more fulfilling life.