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Hi

I have been depressed of late and I am developing all kinds of physical ailments as well. Like I suffer from heart palpitations, I seem very susceptible to more illnesses that float around like stomach bugs, colds, and flu. I am itchy everywhere and I often feel nauseous. 

Do you think there is a connection? Could depression affect someone's physical and well-being like this, or is this nothing more than a coincidence? Is it that your body is more susceptible because your immune system might be in a worse shape than before? If it is because of the depression, what can I do about it?

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Depression does affect the physical body as well as the mind. Considering that it often leads to loss of appetite and sleeping difficulties (insomnia or excessive sleeping), that is really not a surprise. Your particular physical symptoms sound almost textbook. 

You did not say in your post, but I get the impression that you haven't sought medical attention for your depression or I assume you would have already asked your doctor for answers. Is that true? If it is, I can only encourage you to go ahead and do it now. Help for depression is out there, but you need to go grab it. 

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What are your other symptoms of clinical depression? Have you run them by a diagnostic checklist to see if they match? If not, I would do that.

As for a connection between depression and physical health, yes there is one. What you say can definitely be caused by depression.

The treatment is always the same, what works best is psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy, and you can also attend a support group for other people with depression. If psychotherapy alone does not help you overcome your symptoms, then the best thing to do would be to talk with your doctor about medication. Antidepressants can play a powerful role in helping you feel better.
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I hear you and I can totally relate!

Depression really kicks you down. And it feels like you can never get up again. I do know that this is not true because people do get out of it, but not me. Not yet, anyway. Me, I have terribly stiff and achy muscles and joints, especially in the neck, shoulder and back area. Not exercise related, because I don't any. I am sure I am tesning up because of the way I feel. Again, the nausea and stomach pain is also something I relate to. Usually associated with thinking about doing stuff. I just can't do much these days. Whole days just go away. And it is getting worse.

I want the break the cycle. I don't know how.
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Depression affects you physically in all kinds of ways. Headaches, sleep deprivation, nausea and stomach aches, chest pain, back pain, tense muscles, I could go on, and on. Depression might be an illness of the brain, but it goes way beyond that and starts affecting all body systems. 

What can you do about it? I know it's hard, but if you have been depressed for a while, the best thing you can do for yourself is to go see a doctor. Whichever one makes you feel most comfortable basically, a general doctor or a shrink, just don't go see a urologist. Therapy is daunting but it really can make a difference. 

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You've already been told that depression does carry over into physical health. The next step is finding something that will make you feel better. 

I would advise you to look into cognitive behavioral therapy first. This can be very effective, and though it's most often done in individual sessions some people greatly benefit from group cognitive behavioral therapy as well. There's also interpersonal therapy and other forms. You will want to ask a psychologist what would be best for you. 

Then if you still need extra help, there are antidepressants. Some of the newer ones don't cause nearly as many side effects as the older ones. 

Rosie

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Thanks. I have already been looking around for therapists in my area. I do think I need help. To be honest though, the thought of seeing one really scares me. I have never been to therapy before and I have no idea what to expect. I know I am already losing control but the thought of someone who can "see into my mind" as it were having the control instead is frightening.

Therapy can also be expensive, even with insurance covering some of it. I have saved some phone numbers but have not called anybody yet.
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I'm not sure if virtual hugs are appropriate? If wanted, here they are. ((hugs))

I can assure you that psychologists are not mind readers. They are just people trained in techniques that help people feel better. As a neutral third party, they are also much less likely to judge you than anyone you know in person. When you leave your therapy session, your therapist sees someone else. He or she will be there to help you, but therapists are not *personally* invested in your life.

I hope that is comforting to you.

If you are struggling with physical symptoms of depression as well as, as your username suggests, feeling like you are down in the dumps, I would really think that you could benefit from therapy very much. If you go, you will probably find it is not nearly as scary as you thought.

Rosie
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Weight gain, overeating, chronic tiredness, no libido whatsoever, aches and pains everywhere... my depression affected my physical body a great deal even though depression is a brain disorder, because brain and body are connected. In the end, it all turns into a vicious cycle where your physical complaints are making you more depressed, and your depression makes you feel worse.

I found the answer in therapy and antidepressants. You will likely, too. What can you do about it? Get help.
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My husband is dealing with major depression and he has stomach problems - acid reflux, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation, burping, and pain in the stomach area. He is putting this down as just another thing the depression is causing but I am worried that he could be having some other condition on top of the depression, like GERD for example.

Can anyone help me with this? When you have depression and of course it can cause physical symptoms as well, I feel it is so easy for any doctor to shrug it off as no big deal and just all in the head, but if there is a physical symptom that needs treatment as well.

How do you get doctors to listen?
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