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The Physical Symptoms of Depression I Wasn't Expecting

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Depression has been a dark cloud over my head for years now. When it first came as a small gray cloud, I didn’t realize the toll it would take on my physical body as well as my mind.

It made me stay in bed causing aching all over my body. It made me not want to eat causing me to lose weight. It made me eat too much causing me to gain weight. Depression has changed my appearance in ways I didn’t think were possible because of a mental illness — I think this might have hurt me the most. My weight has fluctuated because of the many medications I’ve been on. My eyes are usually red from either the lack of sleep or crying. My skin, because it does not see sunlight for days at a time, grows paler and paler by the day.

I understand that a physical illness can cause physical changes, but when a mental illness causes physical changes it was weird for me. You don’t really expect it, but it can happen. It can make me cringe every time I get up, look in the mirror or do anything.

This was three years ago when I was first experiencing these symptoms I had not expected. Most of these things are still there and still do happen, but I now understand this is something I am going to have to live with and it is something I can possibly control with work. It may be hard, but it is worth it. To anyone who might be struggling with their physical body because of their mind, I get it.

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Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian.

Originally published: August 16, 2017
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