WebMD's Symptom Finder: Physical Symptoms of Depression - Chest
In this article
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat. These symptoms can be related to lung or heart problems, even serious ones like a heart attack. But they also can be symptoms of depression and anxiety, what doctors call "anxious depression." These chest pains can often be chronic in those suffering from depression, but may be felt suddenly in those suffering from anxiety. If you are having these symptoms, see a doctor right away to rule out serious heart, gastrointestinal, or lung problems.
If your heart is fine, you may be suffering from another problem such as heartburn, depression, or anxiety.
Seeking help for depression -- and following through with antidepressant medication -- is a courageous and important first step on the road to recovery. But too often, those who take that step find themselves faced with another troubling problem: weight gain.
Experts say that for up to 25% of people, most antidepressant medications -- including the popular SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft -- can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more.
There is a complex and close biological relationship between depression, anxiety, and the heart, research shows. Depression has been linked to heart disease. When you are under stress or having a panic attack, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol as part of our natural "fight or flight" response. These hormones can trigger physical symptoms like chest pain and a rapid heartbeat that may feel like a heart attack.
Could your chest pain and rapid heartbeat be related to depression? One way to find out is to keep a symptom diary. Print out this symptom diary, and fill it out. Then take it to your doctor to discuss what may be causing your symptoms.
SOURCES: David Baron, MSEd, DO, chairman of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine. WebMD Medical Reference: "Heart Disease Symptoms;" "Understanding Back Pain;" and "An Overview of Arthritis." Body illustration created exclusively for WebMD by Andy Matlock