Being sick makes you feel bad

Being sick makes you feel bad.  We're in the middle of flu season, so we all know this. But sometimes being sick makes you feel really, really bad.  Like clinically-depressed bad or panic-attack bad.

Here's a little problem.  Depression and anxiety symptoms that arise from medical problems feel exactly the same as depression and anxiety that come from psychological stress or trauma.  Sometimes we take such a psychological approach to anxiety and depression that we forget to look at possible medical problems.

Here's a list of medical issues that can make people feel anxious or depressed:

  • Adrenal disease
  • Anemia
  • Brain injury
  • Caffeine
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Cancer, especially pancreatic cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hearing loss, often associated with social isolation
  • Infections or post-infection states
  • Low blood sugar
  • Migraines
  • Mineral imbalances
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiencies (especially thiamine, vitamin B-12, niacin)
  • Medications such as birth control pills, weight loss pills, blood pressure medications, Accutane

Source:  Healing Anxiety and Depression, Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

So there you go, a little bit of anxiety and depression info to file away.  I hope you never actually need it.

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