Experts state that it’s extremely rare for fatigue and general tiredness not to be one of the symptoms of depression, and most agree that the two go hand in hand; but why?
How tiredness and depression are inextricably linked:
Perhaps the most poignant link is the quality of sleep that the individual regularly gets. Research has shown that for the average adult to function normally, 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night are best, but even if someone with depression is getting this much sleep, they often still wake up feeling tired. This may be due to several factors:
- Depressed people take longer to fall asleep, meaning they achieve less hours overall
- Sleep is not of a good quality and is interrupted by REM
- Those with depression may find themselves repeatedly waking up during the night
- They may wake up earlier but be unable to fall back to sleep, despite their feelings of tiredness
Other issues that can make a depressed person feel so tired are that their bodies are constantly fighting against moods that encourage them to feel unenthusiastic about even the smallest of tasks, such as getting out of bed or eating. If you’re relentlessly trying to bolster your mood and garner some lust for life, the effects can be draining on your brain and overall mental state, tiring you out and stripping you of your energy.
When you’re depressed, your brain may begin to process thoughts in an unhealthy way, and you can soon find yourself stuck in a mental loop of negativity caused by continuous overthinking. This constant process becomes tiring for your brain, and even if your body shouldn’t be feeling tired (such as if you’ve gotten enough sleep, eaten an energy boosting meal etc), your brain may be sending messages that causes it to feel fatigued.
Coping with fatigue and depression:
Some of the best ways of coping with any problems we may be experiencing with our mental and physical health, center around a balanced and nutritious diet, quality sleep, regular exercise and relaxation. It may also benefit you to seek professional help from a healthcare professional, who may deem it necessary to prescribe medication for you or to recommend that you seek guidance from a qualified counselor.
While it may feel at times as if your tiredness is sapping you of the strength to continue your battle against depression, talking about the causes — and finding solutions to help you feel more energized and positive — is key to ending the vicious cycle. Feeling tired is something that others may brush off and they might tell you to simply ‘get more rest’, however, fatigue can be extremely debilitating and when its coupled with depression as it so often is, it needs to be tackled so that you can maintain a certain quality of life. To begin feeling like your old self again, and to have more zeal and energy for life, consider speaking confidentially to a counselor who can guide you through some processes to help heal you.
Learn more at heartcenteredcounselors.com