Physical pain is a common, but often ignored, symptom of depression. A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that two-thirds of people starting treatment for depression also reported being in physical pain. The most commonly cited symptoms were frequent headaches, back pain, joint pain, and abdominal pain.
What's the connection between pain and depression? Research shows that the two share common chemical pathways. The brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine are known to play key roles in depression. Now researchers believe these neurotransmitters also mediate pain.
Tina Merritt, now 39, of Virginia Beach, Va., had heard of postpartum
depression when she was pregnant seven years ago. But when she gave birth to
her son, Graham, she expected nothing but joy as she and her husband welcomed
the baby boy who would be the first grandchild on both sides of their
families."It took me a while to get pregnant, and it was a huge deal for
everyone," Merritt says."I worked right up to the end of my pregnancy and felt
great. I'd planned so long for this baby, I really...