Signs of depression can also be seen in some physical health conditions
Fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of interest in regular activities, persistent sadness or low mood are all signs of depression. Some of these signs can also appear when an individual has other health conditions. In such cases, depression may be a symptom and not the underlying illness.
Dr Krishna Prasad, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, NIMHANS says, “There is a bidirectional relationship between physical illnesses and depression. In other words, signs of depression like getting tired easily, bodily aches and pain can be manifested as physical symptoms and are commonly seen in some deficiencies as well. Sometimes, many physical health conditions like hypothyroidism, anemia and vitamin deficiencies can mimic depression.”
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, your consulting doctor (general physician or psychiatrist) might want to rule out any physical health problems that may manifest as depression. Research shows that the following conditions can have similar symptoms as that of depression.
While evaluating for depression the mental health professional will perform a detailed physical and psychological evaluation. Physical examination includes checking body mass index, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and other body functions. They might recommend that you get a blood test done to rule out any physical illnesses that can present with symptoms of depression. The blood test may include measuring:
Many of the conditions listed above are treatable. You may need to consult a general physician or a specialist based on your test results. If you continue to experience symptoms of depression even after being treated for other conditions, you may need to consult a mental health expert.