4 Ways Your Body Is Telling You to Check Your Mental Health


1. You’re not regular or have major stomach pains. “Chronic digestive issues are often related to mental health, from diagnosable problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s to mysterious complaints that doctors have trouble treating medically,” explains Rachel Kazez, a licensed therapist and the founder of All Along. Even constipation has been associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. In general, even if the digestion issue wasn’t originally caused by emotions, it usually gets much worse when a patient is suffering from stress or anxiety, since the stress overcomes the unconscious reflex a healthy gastrointestinal tract has.

2. You’re experiencing blurred vision or vertigo. While these are much less common physical manifestations of stress and depression, these vision issues have been linked to mental health in some patients, according to Dr. Clarke. As to the cause, Dr. Clarke shares that there are limited functional MRI studies of the brain as of now (they’re a bit different from an MRI because they measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow), but that they “show evidence of changes in nerve pathways in people who suffer from stress-related pain or other symptoms. For example, one study found that when you inflict pain on a patient with fibromyalgia, the areas in the brain that are activated differ from those of healthy people experiencing the same pain.” It’s fascinating that stress can have such a profound effect on the body.

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