Depressed individuals have a shorter life expectancy than those without depression, in part because depressed patients are at risk of dying by suicide.1 However, we also have a higher rate of dying from other causes.2 Some researchers conclude that we may be more susceptible to medical conditions such as heart disease.3 I had an experience that might point to another cause that we need to address: we don’t treat many health issues because we think they are just symptoms of depression.
Last winter, I went through one of the deepest depressions of my life. It was very intense physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It was a beautiful experience, but that is for another article. The physical aspect is what I want to focus on here.
My physical experience this time was far more intense than any other depression. I was in tremendous pain throughout my body, but especially in my digestive track and chest. I was also completely drained of energy. It took a tremendous act of will just to get out of bed. It was so intense that I found myself reviewing my life in search of any other time that I had similar experiences.