Physical illnesses that could mimic depression
Patients must meet certain diagnostic criteria before they can be diagnosed with depression. However, sometimes even if all the diagnostic criteria for depression are met, they may not necessarily be depressed. In fact, many other conditions in our bodies can produce symptoms similar to depression.
When we see a new patient, after asking them all the questions about their medical history, we usually draw blood from them. One of the blood tests is very specific, being thyroxine. Why is it necessary to check the patient's thyroxine? This is because some endocrine problems, such as hypothyroidism, can cause symptoms similar to depression, including fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, and so on. These symptoms do not mean that there is a problem in the patient's brain, but if we solve the problem in their endocrine system, these so-called depressive symptoms will be gone.
Cancer and chronic infections
Let's imagine that if the body is at war every day, every cell in it should be quite tired and have little energy left to maintain everything it needs for work and school. In that case, the person would become tired, lethargic and cachexic, behaving like a depressed person.
What are the diseases that make our body fight like being at war every day? Cancer is one of them, as well as patients with chronic infections such as syphilis, AIDS, tuberculosis, etc.
Why does anemia causes depressive symptoms?
Hemoglobin in our blood supplies the oxygen to every cell in our body. The oxygen is chemically released from the glucose and fatty acids in our food to allow our bodies to function properly. In patients with anemia, their hemoglobin does not supply enough oxygen to every cell in the body, so they are very tired and lethargic, do not want to go out and talk to others. This is quite similar to depression.
There are many causes of anemia, the most common examples are iron deficiency and excessive blood loss. Some women have anaemia when they have menstrual symptoms, besides, folic acid deficiency or vitamin B deficiency are among the culprits of anaemia.
As mentioned earlier, if the oxygen supply is not sufficient, patients may experience pseudo-depressive symptoms. In addition to anemia, some cardiological or respiratory diseases may also be a possibility.
Other neurological disorders
The source of depression is in our brain. It is intuitive to think that if there are other problems in the brain, it may affect a person's cognition and emotion, causing the patient to have symptoms of depression. In fact, some neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, can also cause symptoms of depression.