Depression can manifest physical signs such as chest pain, fatigue, digestive disorders, abnormal weight changes, and exhaustion.
Depression is a mental or mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of interest. With the pressures of life, an increasing number of people of all ages are affected by this condition to varying degrees.
Many individuals with depression are unaware of the need for early diagnosis and treatment. Alongside the emotional symptoms like anxiety, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities, depression can also cause physical signs that may go unnoticed by the person affected.
Chest pain: Depression often accompanies feelings of anxiety and panic, leading to chest pain. Research and clinical experience suggest that chest pain can be a useful indicator for diagnosing depression. According to Dr. Minh Trung, individuals should seek medical attention if they experience unusual chest pain, as it helps screen for conditions such as heart problems, including depression.
Headaches: Headaches are another symptom associated with depression. Patients commonly complain of dull, worsening headaches, particularly in the morning and at night. These headaches can result from tense muscles in the neck and scalp, which are commonly observed in individuals with depression.
Body aches: Fatigue and depression often go hand in hand. Depression can cause body aches and body aches can also lead to depression. Those with depression often experience unexplained pain in the abdomen, joints, neck, back, or overall body, without a clear cause. This is particularly true for individuals with pre-existing conditions such as arthritis or injuries, as their pain may worsen.
Digestive disorders: Depression can lead to symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain accompanied by anxiety and despair. The digestive system is sensitive to emotions, and this is particularly evident in children and adolescents who experience depression.
Exhaustion: Individuals with depression often feel exhausted, lacking energy, and even devoid of motivation to live. Some withdraw and lack the motivation to get out of bed. According to Dr. Minh Trung, this is not normal fatigue that can be recovered through rest.
Sleep difficulties: Another physical sign of depression is restlessness, insomnia, or conversely, excessive sleep. Depression can also impact an individual’s sexual desire.
Abnormal weight changes: Depression can affect both appetite and food aversion. Some patients experience weight loss due to a diminished interest in eating, while others may gain weight as a response to stress and sadness.
When individuals notice suspicious symptoms of depression, it is best to seek medical attention as early as possible. The condition can be treated with medication and non-pharmacological interventions. Advanced techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are being used to treat depression. This technique involves sending electromagnetic waves through the skull to stimulate nerve cells and alter the electrical function in the corresponding brain region, resulting in positive outcomes. Many hospitals have successfully treated numerous depressed patients using this technique.