Common Physical Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Almost everyone feels extremely sad and depressed at some point in their lives. There are times when an individual finds it very hard to cope with sadness and starts to feel depressed. It is normal for a person feel depressed because of certain life events like health issues, death of a loved one, financial issues, problems in professional life, etc. However, when someone continues to feel extreme sadness and depression for an unusually long period of time and fails to focus on basic day to day activities, then it is a serious problem of clinical depression.

If not diagnosed on time and undergone proper treatment, depression can cause some very serious problems. It is quite common for someone who is depressed to experience emotional symptoms like sadness, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, hopelessness, and worthlessness. The mind of a depressed individual is occupied by negative thoughts and the victim might even contemplate suicide. However, besides these common psychological symptoms, a depressed person also experiences certain physical symptoms discussed below.


Headache is one of the most common physical symptoms of depression. Some people experience just light headaches, while others suffer from intense ones. The severity of a headache is often high in people who have experienced migraine attacks in the past.

Chest and Back Pain

Chest pain is often caused in case of extreme depression. A connection has been established between depression and heart diseases. Depressed individuals can experience pain in the neck, lower back, muscles, or in the joints too. If the person has had troubles with back pain in the past, then depression can aggravate the problem and cause intense pain in the back.

Change in Appetite and Unintentional Weight Fluctuations

Depressed people often experience a drastic change in their appetite. Some people begin to overeat and tend to put on weight, whereas others lose weight as they stop eating due to depression.


Depression tends to disturb the sleep pattern of an individual. People who are depressed often find it difficult to fall asleep. Not being able to get proper sleep or insomnia only increases the sadness and frustration.

Digestive Problems

Depression has a negative effect on the digestive system of an individual. People who are depressed might experience diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion. Depression has also been linked with irritable bowel syndrome. Feeling nauseous way too often is another physical symptom of depression.

Fatigue and Exhaustion

People who are depressed feel fatigued and exhausted even after performing simple physical activities. This kind of fatigue and weakness do not go away even after getting enough rest and sleep.

Loss of Interest in Sexual Activities

Depressed individuals can lose interest in sexual activities, which can in turn give rise to problems like impotence.

There is an inter-relation between depression and physical pain. Depression causes the physical symptoms mentioned above, which in turn go on to aggravate depression. Also, continuous or intense pain caused due to any reason can make a person feel depressed.

It is not easy to identify and diagnose depression based on the physical symptoms. This is because there are many health conditions that can causes similar physical problems. Hence, getting proper medical help for depression is a must. After depression has been identified and diagnosed, it can be treated with the help of an appropriate treatment. Proper treatment and care will allow the person to easily overcome depression.