When most people think about depression, they think about the feeling of depression and negative thought patterns. However, it is important to note that sometimes depression has other physical symptoms which can significantly interfere with health and functioning. This is particularly true for older adults who may not say they feel depressed.
1) Sleep Changes
Sometimes the first sign of depression is problems with sleep. This can come in many forms : having trouble falling asleep (sleep initiation), problems staying asleep (sleep maintenance), restless sleep (sleep quality), or waking up too early in the morning. Sometimes depression causes too little sleep, but sometimes it can also cause too much sleep.
2) Appetite Changes
Depression is often associated with changes in appetite. In some cases, appetite is decreased and there can be significant weight loss in a short amount of time. In other cases, appetite is increased and there are cravings for specific foods like sugar and carbohydrates.
3) Physical Sensations
You may have seen ads on TV talking about how “depression hurts”. For some people, they are less aware of a feeling of depression and more aware of new bodily sensations like aches, pain, tingling, upset stomach, etc. These physical symptoms can lead to extensive medical workups and mask the underlying depression problem.
To learn more about depression or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.
Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne
With over 15 years of medical expertise, Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD, is a board-certified psychiatrist with experience treating mental health conditions in adults, including dementia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. After practicing in New York City for 12 years, Dr. Byrne relocated to North Carolina in 2008; she currently cares for patients in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill. Dr. Byrne earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She then received her doctorate from New York University Department of Neurophysiology. She also has a doctorate of medicine from New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Byrne went on to complete a psychiatry residency at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In addition to her work as a psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne has performed extensive research on attention, memory, and depression. As a board- certified adult psychiatrist, Dr. Byrne focuses on the needs of each patient to pro.