Depression's toll on the body

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by sweetles, Jan 6, 2014.

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  1. sweetles

    sweetles Well-Known Member

    has anyone else here experienced real physical symptoms of their major depression? i've suffered with severe depression my entire life, and have never been in great health. the past few years though i've become certain that the two are related, because the intensity of my depression has increased and simultaneously the severity of my health problems have increased.

    skin issues...dermatologists don't even know how to diagnose my skin problems, it's not quite eczema, not quite psoriasis, it's just a mysterious whoknowswhat that results in patches of extremely dry (to the point of breaking and bleeding), irritated skin from everywhere to my face to private parts...(super sexy). chronically low blood pressure that again no one can figure out, which results in my periodically fainting with no warning (great for keeping a job). IBS which means every single trip to the bathroom, even to tinkle, results in blood loss. oh joy. and in the last 3 yrs, i've gone from having a head full of super-thick, shoulder-length hair to barely half a head-full of unmanageable weak strands, which strain to grow to ear-length. that horrible skin problem? also on my scalp. and headaches that just won't quit...intense throbbing that sometimes last a full day or longer, even while i'm sleeping, my head is pounding....

    and absolutely no treatment helps any of it. at first i thought this was because maybe lack of insurance prevents me from finding good doctors, but now i think it's far more simple...the cause isn't physical, so therefore the treatment can't be. and because there's no cure for this depression, there's no cure for any of the physical symptoms either...and it will only get worse and worse until i'm barely recognizeable as a human being.

    anyhow. please tell me, i am not alone in this phenomenon?
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Who said there is no cure for depression There has been many many people fought back with meds and therapy and gone on without another epsiode of depression so it treatable and curable depression Vitamins help the body they do even if the symptoms are cause by depression or stress . i have suffered all the things you have at one time or another the skin conditon neurodermatitis it is called. hair is falling out masses of it at a time now on med for depression it is helping some with IBS even Your gp needs to get you into seeing a therapist or psych doc to treat the dpression so the symptoms you are experiancing will lesson
  3. Lady Wolfshead

    Lady Wolfshead Well-Known Member


    I relate. Try enteric-coated peppermint for the IBS - it helped me a lot. Take on empty stomach or before meals.

    At least you have a sense of humour which is so important.

    Keep looking for a cure - just because the cause is possibly mental doesn't mean the solution needs to be. I think my IBS is caused by stress, at least partly, but the peppermint has helped, and also helped my stress!

    I hope things improve for you.
  4. sweetles

    sweetles Well-Known Member

    total eclipse, i did not mean to imply that there is no cure for depression, just that there is no cure for my particular depression. this has been proven after nearly a lifetime of drug therapy, talk therapy, exercise therapy, group therapy, weeks at a time spent in psych hospitals, etc. my last several psychologists and therapists recommended ECT (after a total fail with TMS). that, as well as long-term possibly lifelong inpatient mental health care which i cannot afford. even they admit that there are no optimistic possibilities for me. let me tell ya, it is kind of hilarious to hear from a psychiatrist of 35 yrs that you're the most depressed person they've ever encountered.

    anywho, that's neither here nor there really. just find the mind-body connection to be a curious thing. and i wonder if the same phenomena occurs in those who are perpetually happy and they tend to be in good health? great skin and bright eyes?

    Lady Wolfshead, thanks for the tip, will try the peppermint.
  5. Lady Wolfshead

    Lady Wolfshead Well-Known Member

    I often find it hard to determine which comes first - bad health or depression. Sure people with no depression may have good skin and bright eyes, but it could be that their excellent physical health creates their great mood. I struggle a lot with tiredness and when I'm tired I get especially depressed. Yet I know depression can reduce quality of sleep. So egg or chicken? I wish I knew.

    Sorry to hear that your psychiatrist said that - you're right it's kind of funny in an ironic way, like winning an award for something you hate. Maybe if you can solve some of the physical issues that will help.
  6. demuredawn

    demuredawn Well-Known Member

    honestly the "mind over matter" saying isn't exactly just a saying... it has been proven in many diff ways that if you either force yourself to believe something strong enough, just naturally believe it to be true, or are tricked into believing something... your body will respond to your belief, whether or not it is truly true... thats why some women who believe themselves to be pregnant will actually gain weight and have morning sickness and breast pain and even sensations of the fetus moving.. only to be told months later that they were never pregnant... its why people are able to take placebo and feel the same effects from it as they would the "real medication" ... so yea, a lot of our health is connected to our own beliefs and thoughts .... problem is i dont know the answer to how to make yourself believe you are happy when you are in a miserable situation .... and not just believe it, but believe it so strongly that you cannot find room to argue it, b/c you actually start feeling it.... lemme know if you find that answer please?
  7. Lost

    Lost Staff Alumni

    Well it can cause stress and that can cause many many physical symptoms with skin issues being one but can also come from a very wide variety of reasons, (smoking, drinking, drugs, dust, allergy, stress, environment, taking too many hot baths or spending to long in them and erasing natural oils etc..). It is possible it is psychological but that no way means there is less help for it, In contrary it means you are better informed to find something to fight it imo.

    Are you a member of any medical forums or anything? There is wealth of info out there on skin problems I know as in summer, I suffer from very blotchy skin that ends up looking like a birthmark covering my face which is now helped somewhat after gaining knowledge from on line and trying to reduce the triggers. Still don't like it like but its much better and that is good.

    Have you explored it possibly being from an anxiety issue at all?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  8. sweetles

    sweetles Well-Known Member

    lost81, yes i do browse a few medical forums, just because i find it so fascinating. years ago when my depression was less severe, i was able to discover many treatments which greatly approved and in some cases totally eradicated most of my health issue, esp. with my skin. i use those same treatments now and there's either no effect or it actually gets worse. logic and many years of experience just tell me that my mental health has a significant effect on my physical health. it's not a chicken or egg question for me as the depression has always been there, just somewhat varying levels of intensity.

    honestly i am not seeking answers or "help," as i recognize there's nothing that can be done as long as i'm in this mental state which may well be permanent...just curious if others have noticed anything similar with their own health.
  9. IamTetsuo

    IamTetsuo Well-Known Member

    Maybe this is stating the obvious but maybe you need to change your diet - completely. I'm sure that some health problems can be psychosomatic but most general ones are linked to diet and exercise. If I eat certain foods or certain combinations of foods I'll get IBS or I'llget constipated if I eat crap for a while. With long term health problems everyone should be looking hard at diet and exercise (and lifestyle) before considering any kind of medication IMO.
  10. Roam

    Roam Member

    I suffer some abdominal pain from time to time and I have noticed that I have been getting sick more often since I have been feeling more depressed, although I have been sort of alternating that with stress and burnout, so I guess is just a mix of these three. Las time was after having christmas dinner, a night out where I drank quite a lot followed by another family lunch. After that I spent a few days with stomachache, fever and having a hard time digesting food.

    For me the worst is how it affects my mind. There is not a chance of concentrating and doing things right; from orginizing my day to remember to which cinema was playing the movie I wanted to watch (I once had to go to three different cinemas until I found which one was, and I had just checked that right before leaving my house). It affects how well I think and therefore the way I act as well as my communication skills and that seriously annoys me because it makes me feel like crap when I have a conversation, let alone an argument.

    Thankfully it's not always at it's worst but I know that if I wasn't in such a state I would be able to do a lot more and better.
  11. sweetles

    sweetles Well-Known Member

    personally i'm not considering any form of medication. i just suck it up and deal with it, consider it a part of the crap lot in life i have to bear. but as far as diet/exercise goes, i am actually pretty physically (both weights and cardio) almost daily, and eat only natural foods heavy on the veg and fruit and very minimal on meat. i have a tendency of not eating enough or consistently, and that probably contributed somewhat to my fainting issue, but no physician would examine me and label me as unfit.
  12. fam6236

    fam6236 Member

    Totally relate to the tiredness you are experiencing with your depression. Depression wrecks your energy levels. I have trouble holding down a job because of this. I could sleep 10 hours and still be tired. To me this is the worst side effect of depression, I absolutely hate it!
  13. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    A diet very minimal on meat? I wonder if you could be anaemic. Iron-deficiency anaemia at that.

    It is plausible - as it could be linked. I myself have the opposite of iron-deficiency in that I have iron overload - but there are potential similarities - and it was through my depression cloud being on and off that I was eventually suspected of something further. It could be worth looking into. Lethargy is just a part of it - maybe see what your GP says.

    It certainly sounds to me, like there is something not right in the levels of something within your blood - but Iron isn't checked for on a standard blood test - at least, not in the UK for what I know of. - here contains all potential symptoms - although IBS isn't listed it has most of the other things you've mentioned (fainting, hair loss, depression are all signs/symptoms, but it could be more complex than just having them as it could be a number of other things too) - but this is just a suggestion from someone who has the "other side of this coin" - even though you've mentioned you don't necessarily want help.
  14. PeterFromUK

    PeterFromUK Member

    I had redness on my nose for 20 years. My ex Gp prescribed me creams. I applied to much and my illness got worst. One week ago I talked with my new GP about it and he gave me two creams. The first one Hydrocortisone 1% - twice per day fpr 1 week. Then Diprobase cream. I colleague at work said to me: What happen to ur face? You look different. Cream helped me. Remember to not apply to much. Peter
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