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Depression and anxiety affect the body differently—here’s how


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It’s not a news flash that if you have digestive probs or acne that it could be linked to your emotional state. (And it’s no coincidence that your colleague who is perpetually stressed out is out sick a lot.) But not all mental health problems manifest themselves the same way. A new study published in Plos One medical journal suggests that depression and anxiety affect the body differently.

This definitely falls into the “news you can use” category: If you notice something funky going on with your body and know it could stem from something mentally, you know you could be anxious—or depressed—without necessarily realizing it. (Then you can make a note to schedule a day of happiness ASAP.)

Keep reading to find out how depression and anxiety affect the body—in their own unique ways.

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Depression

Arthritis in teenagers? It’s happening. For the study, psychologists at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum looked at data from 6,500 people between the ages of 13 and 18 and found a link between depression and achy joints, as well as digestive distress.

The link between depression and gut health has been well-documented. Luckily, there are actionable steps that can help get things running properly, such as knowing what to eat and practicing a breathing exercise that calms the gut in mere minutes. Still, as this study shows, treating depression could be the key to clearing things up for good.

But how exactly does depression cause arthritis? Researchers theorize that depression causes adrenal fatigue and low secretion of cortisol, which leads to inflammation

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Anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, researchers found that it manifested itself through skin woes. Inflammation is again the culprit here and could be caused by the fact that anxiety also causes an increased heart rate and other cardiovascular changes, which in turn affects the skin. Have you ever seen someone have a panic attack where their quick breathing is also accompanied by sweating and blotchy skin? It’s like that.

While all of this might seem like a downer to read about, the new information is actually a good thing. Pinpointing exactly why you are having digestive problems, achy joints, annoying skin issues—whatever it is—the closer you are to finding a way to heal yourself.

Speaking of mental health, a new generation of celebs is destigmatizing depression and anxiety issues—here’s how Miranda Kerr coped post-divorce, and Adele shares her postpartum depression experience.