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Do other people feel this way when they are depressed?

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I often have the feeling like my heart is sinking and racing and pain and heaviness in my chest. It only lasts for a few seconds, but it often happens several times in a day or continuously for hours. I think this is because of depression, for I get this feeling when I'm depressed.

Can I stop or lessen this feeling? Does everyone feel this when depressed? It hurts. I can hardly talk when this happens.

This question was submitted by 'Faiza'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Faiza and thank you for writing in.

I think the first important thing to consider is that depression isn't just 'in the head'. Worry, rumination, pessimism, and catastrophizing all have physical effects.

Depression is a state of heightened arousal in which the stress hormone cortisol is elevated. This is why any treatment of depression needs to help the person rest, relax, and also minimize negative introspection, the rumination that fuels depression. Depression used to be called 'nervous exhaustion', which is, in fact, a better name than 'depression', as it accurately describes what actually happens during depression.

Stress has many effects on the body, including a racing heart, confused thinking, and sometimes feelings of pain in the chest and a sense of heaviness. So, certainly those symptoms you describe might just be side effects of the stress during times you feel depressed. But you should be checked out medically to ensure there is nothing else going on here.

It's also important you relax deeply and regularly to normalize stress levels in your body. You could use the 'Natural Depression Treatment Program', which will help you feel better and also help prevent episodes of depression in future. You might also check out our free site on depression.

All my best,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - October 28th, 2014 in

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