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My Health?

Question:

I am very concerned about my health. I have problems getting out of bed in the morning. I feel very tired throughout the day even after doing nothing. I’m addicted to the Internet. My head hurts throughout the day. My hands are always cold. I have trouble focusing.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

It’s always important to rule out some type of physical illness to explain what might be happening to you. That is why it’s important that you see your primary care physician and have a complete physical exam. Certainly, cold hands might be caused by some type of physical problem. If it turns out that you are in good physical health then it’s necessary to look at mental health issues you might be experiencing. Of course, it’s always possible that you have both physical and emotional issues as they go together.

For example, your tiredness could be indicative of depression or severe stress. The fact that you are addicted to the Internet, and that can be very stressful, might explain your symptoms. In addition, staying home and being on the Internet is very isolating. It is true that you could have social connections with others via the Internet, it is no substitute for face to face relationships in the real world. Also, difficulty focusing is another one of those symptoms that accompanies depression.

Again, I want to urge you to  have a complete physical exam. It will be important that you explain all of your symptoms to you doctor. There is a place where stress and physical illness intersect. Stress lowers the ability of the immune system to protect against viruses and other illnesses. It also leads directly to depression.

Best of Luck

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