Depression is a mood disorder that can manifest many different symptoms, from feelings of unhappiness to intense bouts of anger anger. These symptoms may affect a person’s general quality of life. Mental illness is usually hard to diagnose, especially since there are not really any tried-and-true physical tests for diagnosing it.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), depression can be overwhelming when left untreated. Sometimes depression is so debilitating that its symptoms mimic those of other conditions, leading sufferers to believe that there is something gravely wrong with them.  Therefore, it helps to know what other symptoms depression can cause and what conditions these symptoms can be mistaken for.

Symptoms of Depression That Mimic Other Health Illnesses


Fatigue, usually characterized by extreme weariness and low energy, usually arises after an emotional, mental, or physical draining experience. However, fatigue can also be a symptom of a bigger problem like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

According to many studies,  people with depression can also suffer from CFS. It is important that you differentiate between the two. When depressed, people might feel disinterested in doing things they used to like. In contrast, people with CFS often have an interest in doing the activities but lack the energy to do them.

Digestive problems

Digestive problems may be a symptom of depression. According to WebMD, when someone is depressed, they sometimes develop digestive issues like nausea, decreased appetite and even diarrhea and constipation. However, stomach pain, digestive problems, and changes in appetite are caused by many things. For instance, digestive problems can be a sign of medical problems like ulcers, reflux disease, and gallbladder issues. See a doctor for a medical assessment to determine the cause of the problem.

Sleeping problems

Sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea can cause any number of sleep-related problems--but so can depression. According to the National Sleep Foundation, depression affects at least 20 million Americans. The link between depression and sleep problems is complicated. Sleep problems can lead to depression, and depression may cause sleep problems. Some of the conditions that can cause sleeping problems to include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Breathing problems
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease

If your sleep problem makes it hard for you to function, see your doctor to determine the cause of your sleep problem.


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is one of the major symptoms of depression. Additionally, anxiety can be caused by various mental disorders like:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder

Trouble concentrating and memory loss

Depression can also make it difficult to concentrate. Specifically, severe depression can hinder you from working or studying efficiently, which might in turn affect your school or job performance.  However, other conditions can present the inability to concentrate--for instance:

  • Dementia
  • Head injury
  • Thyroid problems
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anemia
  • Hormonal changes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Sleep apnea

Talk to a Professional

Depression can be challenging to diagnose, mainly because it presents symptoms that are similar to other health conditions. However, if you suspect that something is off, it is always good to get it checked out by your healthcare provider.

Visit us at Medical Supply Depot for quality products that can help you in dealing with depression.

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