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Physical Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Physical symptoms of anxiety and depression are often mistaken for a host of other conditions that can be experienced at any given time. It is helpful to examine the range of these symptoms to gain a better understanding of how anxiety and depression affect the mind and body.

Anxiety and Depression often afflict victims with physical symptoms. In fact, physical symptoms share a close connection when it comes to how depression and anxiety are actually experienced.

A person experiencing anxiety may feel tense and jittery, be overly cautious and startle easily. Impending danger or disaster might be perceived.

Imagine how challenging life might feel for someone who is depressed and who thinks or obsesses about a stressful topic, who feels restless or dizzy or who has difficulty concentrating.

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Physical Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression May be Mistaken for Something Else

Physical symptoms of anxiety and depression are often mistaken for a host of other conditions that can be experienced at any given time.  therefore, it may be helpful to examine the range of these symptoms to gain a better understanding of how anxiety and depression actually affect the mind and body.

At first blush, it may seem simple: depressed = sad, anxious = worried but far more is involved with these conditions and how they might manifest and wreak havoc on not only the mind but the body.

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What Are Some Physical Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression?

From head to foot, depression and anxiety can be felt in troubling physical symptoms that may look like something else.

  • Headaches are a common occurrence for many people, but are often attributed to other factors. One lady visited her physician for crippling migraines. She was surprised when she was given a prescription for an anti-depressant and even more surprised when her “migraines” disappeared.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Feeling short of breath.
  • Feeling spacey or lightheaded or dizziness that can make one lose balance.
  • Hot or cold flashes which may be attributed to poor circulation or menopause.
  • Heart palpitations can manifest and the sufferer can feel their heart beating rapidly. chest pain may be present leading the suffer to wonder about his or her heart.
  • Sweating may not be due to being overheated and can be triggered by emotional distress.
  • Trembling can be aggravated by anxiety.
  • Muscle aches and chest and back pain may also be part of the depression package. In fact, depression can make any kind of chronic pain worse. A person might think that they are just getting older and that increased pain levels are to be expected, but this might not be the case.
  • Digestion problems can result in nausea or “butterflies in the stomach” and more distressing still, can precipitate or contribute to diarrhea or chronic constipation. Someone who feels nauseated might believe they have a touch of the flue and when grappling with bowel problems may attribute these to other conditions.
  •  Appetite and weight may also undergo changes.  While it is normal to experience  fluctuations in appetite levels, if these change and this becomes chronic, further investigation is warranted.
  • Sleeping problems may be chronic but again, this might be thought to be caused by job stress or other factors.

Anxiety (Photo credit: Alaina Abplanalp Photography)

As can be seen these physical symptoms are no laughing matter and can make every day life difficult because the person so afflicted may feel physically unwell.

What is Depression?

Natural Ways to Ease Anxiety

Treatment Approaches

Different treatments are available, ranging from conventional methods (medication and psychotherapy) to natural remedies. These treatments may be helpful in relieving anxiety and depression, and the resultant symptoms that tamper with quality of life.

Remember, help is available. Troubling physical symptoms of anxiety and depression don’t have to take a toll.  If you feel that you are suffering with physical symptoms that may have as their root cause either depression or anxiety, talk with your practitioner for guidance.

Further Reading:

  • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
  • The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety-Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What you Can Do to Change it
  • Take Control of Your Life: Self-Help for Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Confidence, Success and More
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: the Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger and Impulsiveness

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