Health Watch -- Recognizing Depression

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Aches and pains during this holiday season could be a sign of a problem in your brain - depression. Psychiatrists at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say depression can cause physical symptoms like pain, stomach problems, fatigue, disturbed sleep and changes in appetite. But, doctors often have a hard time diagnosing depression because patients only report the physical problems.

At this time of year, the shorter days and lack of sunlight may cause seasonal affective disorder in some people. Others may be affected by the expectations associated with the holiday season.

If you recognize physical symptoms related to depression and if your blue mood doesn't improve with the change of seasons, seek help from your doctor. 


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Dec. 2004

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