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Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

Physical symptoms....depression???

I'll start by giving some background to the problem I have. I began suffering with symptoms of tiredness and weakness in September 2007. Since then I have suffered from symptoms including nausea and vomiting, intermittant diarrhoea, extreme tiredness (I can sleep up to 16 hours solid), fainting, muscle cramps and stiffness, loss of appetite, itchy skin which comes out in a rash if I scratch, and weight loss which has accelerated over the last few weeks. I have also developed what appears to be a tan, which seems odd since we don't get a great deal of sunshine here in the UK. Routine blood tests have shown no major abnormalities, except for lymphocytosis (6.2) and a raised MCHC. I have been told that my physical symptoms are likely to be due to depression and the lymphocytosis a result of having asthma. I have been taking antidepressants (60mg Duloxetine/ daily - for 12 months), although I stopped taking them 2 months ago as they had no effect on my symptoms. I don't know whether these symptoms are physical or psychological. Can depression cause the physical symptoms i've mentioned above? If so what can I do about it?

Hope someone out there can help,

Kelly
3 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
yes, depression can cause this symptom picture, and if that is the right diagnosis then a combination of psychotherapy and some medication is what is recommended. Ordinarily, if this were a strictly physical disease process over this long a period of time there would be some laboratory signs of disease..the only thing that is not part of a depression is the tanning, and you might ask your doctor to do a differential diagnosis on what might possibly cause that.
Avatar universal
Hi Kelly

I am no expert but I would think that someone with depression could present with those symptoms.
I think the fatigue and loss of appetite (and subsequent weight loss) are classic signs of depression.
I am unsure about the other symptoms but they do sound synonymous with stress.
The fainting could be a result of low blood sugar levels or dehydration.  (I'm wanting to say low blood pressure).
Cramps can also be caused by electrolyte imbalances.

After 12 months one would have expected to see some changes.  I think it is appropriate to ask to have your medication reviewed.
Maybe the medication was managing your symptoms to some degree, as since you have stopped you have lost weight.
I wonder if the rash could have been a side effect of the medication.  Not sure about the tan.

A psych assessment from a psychiatrist is always a good first step.
If they diagnose you with depression they will likely offer you medication and/ or talk therapy, etc depending on how severe it is.

From a lay persons point of view there are things you can do to help yourself.
-Be kind to yourself but do push to get several small things done each day.
-Despite feeling extremely tired, try and limit the time in bed, and try doing some daily activity.  It doesn't have to be a lot.
-Perhaps you could try and pay particular attention to your diet.  You won't feel hungry but try and have regular nutritious meals.  Drink plenty of water.
-The best way to overcome depression, in my experience, is to participate.  Being more active will improve our mood, energy levels, motivation and self-confidence.
-Be patient.

The most important thing you could do is to be open and honest with your doctor and to follow their advice.  (Not blindly though!)

Take care.  I respect the doctor on this forum and I expect he'll give good advice.

J
Avatar universal
Hi,

Thank you both for your responses....they were really helpful. The sooner I can get back to my old self the better. I'll ask for some kind of specialist input as these symptoms are pretty debilitating.

Thanks again and take care,
Kelly
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