I have had clients being referred to me with chronic back pain and irritable bowel syndrome. It took a few sessions to dig deep and realize that these physical symptoms may be related to depression. Let’s get one thing straight, though. I’m not saying that having back pain or IBS is a symptom of depression. However, depression may be related to these symptoms. So what are symptoms of depression?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder V, criteria for Major Depressive Disorder is as follows:
- Depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks.
- Mood represents a change from the person’s baseline.
- Impaired function: social, occupational, educational.
- Specific symptoms, at least 5 of the 9 symptoms below, are present nearly daily:
- Depressed mood or irritable most of the day (feels sad or empty)
- Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities
- Significant weight change or change in appetite
- Change in sleep
- Change in daily activity
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Diminished concentration
If you think you are experiencing the above, you should seek help. Depression impacts memory, immune system negatively and may even lead to suicide.
An excellent place to start is by taking Beck’s Depression Inventory:
About living with depression will follow in the next blog post. Stay safe, and remember to do your best to PICK YOURSELF UP.