One thing that people don’t always realize about depression is how much it hurts. I’m not talking about emotional pain, but actual physical pain.

Osteoarthritis runs in my family, so when my knees and right shoulder have acted up, I’ve always attributed the pain to that. I’ve also always been prone to headaches … migraines, sinus, dehydration, tension … you name it.

But lately, I’ve been feeling a lot more general physical pain and malaise.

I know some of it has to do with not exercising enough, but I’ll bet that some of it is also a physical manifestation of what’s going on in my head.

I know that when I’m really stressed out or having an anxiety attack, I tend to turn it inwards, concentrating it in my gut.

I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which is generally at its worst in the mornings or if I eat certain foods. In general, my symptoms are under control by watching what I eat and taking a couple mild medications.

But I can literally make myself sick by overthinking stressful situations, or letting my anxiety over something new take over. When this happens, I am functionally incapacitated until the attack passes.

So, if my emotional state can manifest itself that way, I have to believe that a lot of the rest of my physical aches and pains are somehow related to my emotional state as well.

As I mentioned yesterday, my therapist thinks I have AD/HD in addition to being dysthymic … I suppose it’s entirely possible.

When something piques my interest, I can have an almost singleminded focus learning about it. Otherwise, I tend to glaze over.

Right now, I’m actually focussed on learning about what depression and AD/HD are. To my mind, if I understand what I’m going through, then I’ll be better equipped to figuring out how to get past it.

So we’ll see what happens.