Physical Signs of Depression and Anxiety

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Did you know that about 24 million people suffer from depression and about 40 million suffer from anxiety disorders?

With staggering numbers like these, it’s important to be aware of the physical signs of both of these mental disorders in order for sufferers to be identified and proper treatment given so that more normal, productive lives can be lived.

Physical Signs of Depression

Depression is more than just sadness or the "blues." Depression, also referred to as clinical depression, major depressive illness, major depressive disorder or unipolar mood disorder, is a life-long mental illness that can affect the thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health of suffers. It is common for people to suffer from bouts of wellness followed by bouts of depression. Physical signs of depression may include:

  • • Aches and pains
  • • Changes in sleep patterns
  • • Changes in appetite (overeating or loss of appetite)
  • • Cramps
  • • Digestive problems
  • • Headaches

Physical Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety, or worrying, is a normal reaction to everyday stress. However, if a person suffers from anxiety for more than six months, he or she may have a specific anxiety disorder such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia or another specific phobia. Physical signs of anxiety disorders may include one or more of the following:

  • • Difficulty swallowing
  • • Fatigue
  • • Feeling of having a heart attack
  • • Trouble falling and/or staying asleep
  • • Headaches
  • • Irritability
  • • Muscle tension and muscle aches
  • • Nausea
  • • Sweating
  • • Trembling
  • • Twitching

Source: National Institute of Mental Health & National Alliance on Mental Illness

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