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Published on July 14, 2015

Recognizing the Physical Symptoms of Depression

When you think of depression symptoms, you probably think of someone looking sad and withdrawing from friends. While these are, in fact, some of the symptoms of depression, depression can also manifest itself in physical symptoms that appear to be unrelated to a mental health issue.

It is fairly common for people with depression to suffer headaches. It also causes regular migraine sufferers with depression to feel the pain more intensely. People who typically experience back pain may also feel the pain more if they are depressed. Other ways that depression can manifest itself as physical symptoms are muscle and joint pain, appetite changes, and more.

If you have any of these symptoms, visit your health care provider. Be sure to share with him or her if you think depression might be causing symptoms. Take a quick mental health self-assessment first to help you determine if you have symptoms consistent with depression. You may even want to print out the results and review them with your health care provider.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dave Miers, PhD, is the counseling and program development manager for mental health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb.

He helped establish the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999 and chaired/co-chaired this Coalition until 2017. He currently serves as the past co-chair. Dr. Miers is a member of the leadership group for the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Miers has published research and co-authored a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Clinical Suicide Research focusing on family survivors of a child suicide. Dr. Miers helped develop the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in Lincoln, Neb. He also helped develop other LOSS teams in Nebraska and is active with LOSS team development on a national level.

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