Consequences of Depression: Why Does It Make You So Tired?
Feeling exhausted? Have you been having difficulty motivating yourself? Are you often feeling sad? These could all be signs of depression, an illness that causes both physical and emotional symptoms. Read on to find out more about the consequences of depression, why it can make you feel so tired, and what you can do about it.
Introduction to Depression and its Impact on Tiredness
Depression and Tiredness
Depression is a very serious mood disorder that can significantly impact a person’s daily life. It’s estimated that around 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide and around one-third of adults in the United States are diagnosed with depression or anxiety each year.
Depression can have a profound effect on a person’s physical and mental well-being and can cause extreme tiredness. It can make it very difficult to make it through the day or find motivation to do any routine tasks.
Research has found that people with depression report experiencing more tiredness than those without.
In addition to being physically and mentally exhausted, people with depression often find that ongoing fatigue can lead to other symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced interest in activities
- Problems with memory
- Reduced sex drive
Depression can also make it very difficult to wind down and get to sleep at night, and the lack of sleep can create a vicious cycle of feeling tired all the time.
People with depression can often think of themselves as failures, which can lead to further feelings of exhaustion.
In many cases, depression-related tiredness can be managed with the help of a qualified healthcare professional, such as a doctor or therapist.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy used to help people learn to manage their moods and emotional well-being.
Medication may also be used to help manage depression-related tiredness, but it should only be taken with the advice of a doctor.
Recognizing the Physical and Mental Symptoms of Depression
Depression can be difficult to detect in its early stages, as sometimes people suffering from it don’t necessarily display the classical signs and symptoms of the disorder. As such, it is important to be aware of and watch out for both the physical and mental signs that may point to a depressive illness.
From a physical standpoint, some of the common symptoms of depression include:
- Unexplained changes in sleep behavior: such as sleeping too much or too little
- Appetite changes: such as not feeling hungry or having sudden cravings for unhealthy foods
- Fatigue: feeling unusually tired for no apparent reason
- Headaches or muscle pains: experiencing frequent and prolonged pain or discomfort in various parts of the body
On the psychological level, the following might be signs that you are suffering from depression:
- Low mood: feeling constantly down and hopeless
- Lack of motivation: loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure
- Poor concentration: difficulty focusing on tasks or making decisions
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness: loss of self-worth and self-loathing
If you are experiencing any of the above physical or mental signs, it is important to talk to a medical or mental health professional to get help and support.
Understanding the Causes of Depression-related Fatigue
Depression-related fatigue can be debilitating and mysterious, leaving many people struggling to understand the cause behind it. Exploring the underlying cause can help individuals manage and cope with their fatigue more meaningfully.
2 common causes of depression-related fatigue include:
- Stress – People with depression often experience stress, which doesn’t only take a mental toll, but can contribute to physical exhaustion as well. Stress can cause fatigue due to lower levels of adrenaline, which is what helps to give us energy, leading to the feeling of dragging ourselves through the day.
- Poor Sleep Quality – Loss of energy is also caused by poor quality or lack of sleep. People with depression may experience insomnia, which affects the length and quality of their sleep. This can lead to daytime fatigue and feeling exhausted during the day.
It is important to understand the causes of fatigue in order to address the underlying issues and thus, reduce the amount of tiredness one experiences with depression. From stress to sleep patterns, addressing the root cause can help manage fatigue levels.
Healthy Habits to Counteract Tiredness Caused by Depression
After a diagnosis of depression, it can be difficult to find healthy habits that help counteract feelings of tiredness and exhaustion. Here are four recommended healthy habits that can help you boost your energy levels and improve your well-being:
Get Moving: It’s easy to stay glued to your seat when depression saps your energy, but getting up and moving for even just 10 minutes of exercise each day can have major benefits.
Exercise releases endorphins that can help replenish energy levels and help lift the mood. Try to get outside, stay active, and get creative with your activities — yoga, running, swimming, dancing, whatever you enjoy!
Adopt Healthy Eating Habits: Eat nutritious and regular meals, and avoid snacks and sugary drinks. Keep your meals balanced, and give your body the ingredients it needs, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
Watch your caffeine intake, and avoid stimulants that can further increase fatigue. Incorporate magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, and B-12 supplements that can help with energy levels.
Get plenty of rest, and try to cut down on late-night snacks that might inhibit your sleep.
Practice Mindful Meditation: Mindful meditation can be a great way to reduce stress and relax the body. Simply focusing on your breath can help improve the post-meditative state, and lessen the effects of fatigue.
You can even practice walking meditations or yoga poses whenever you feel drained. The idea is to relax and restore the body with your focus on your mind, body, and breath.
When and Where to Seek Professional Help for Depression-related Tiredness
Depression-related tiredness can be debilitating if left untreated. In such cases, seeking professional help is recommended. Here we outline when and where to seek help for depression-related tiredness.
- When: If you experience excessive fatigue that impacts your normal routine for 2 weeks or more, seek professional help as soon as possible
- Where: Talk to your family doctor or primary care physician first. Alternatively, seek a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist. Depending on the severity and nature of depression, medication may be prescribed by the physician.
It is important to remember that it takes courage to seek help. Depression-related tiredness is a treatable condition and with the right support, you can get the relief you deserve.
Depression is a serious and potentially debilitating mental health disorder. It can take a toll on physical health, mental state, and energy levels. But with the right support and treatment, you can regain that energy and begin to make positive changes in your life. So if you’re feeling depressed or fatigued, seek help today.