The Effects of Antidepressants on Physical and Psychological Symptoms of Depression This article informs about a study that makes the connection between psychological and physical symptoms of depression, and it highlights new possibilities of treating physical complaints separately. It is a known fact that mostly unexplainable physical symptoms appear in depressed patients, and often they are the signals that indicate to physicians the presence of an affective disorder. These symptoms are most commonly: fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, nausea and back pain. In this research, 601 patients undergoing different therapies for their depression were chosen randomly to participate.
Patients in this investigation were put through a longitudinal experiment to see how the symptoms of their depression, as well as their physical symptoms were altered with antidepressants. They were periodically asked to fill out a survey to assess their depression, psychological symptoms, and their quality of life. The experiments lasted 9 months, and the patients received these different antidepressants: , , and. Almost half of the patients presented all common physical symptoms, and few developed new symptoms during the study. Although the physical symptoms had greatly improved in the first month of medication, they soon plateaued and ceased to improve, while the psychological symptoms such as mood and well-being continued to improve.
At the end of this experiment, scientist learned that although the depression symptoms of patients almost disappeared, the physical symptoms, mostly the ones involving pain, had not continued to improve since the plateau in the first month of therapy. These results prove that physical symptoms are to some extent separate from the psychological issues of the patient. This finding is encouraging many psychologists to study these physical symptoms more profoundly and separately from the psychological symptoms. They be live this will help them determine a new treatment.