By Danielle B
Have you ever noticed that when you are experiencing symptoms of significant sadness that the feeling of immense fatigue tends to come along with it? Depression is a serious and common medical illness that negatively impacts how you feel, think, and even act. Dealing with depression is so much more than just the experience of sadness. It can lead to a loss of interest in the activities you once loved to partake in, while experiencing lack of confidence or guilt, ultimately leading to a reduced ability to enjoy the quality of your life.
How Depression Impacts More than Just Your Feelings
The severity of depression varies from person to person and even effects their lives completely differently. These feelings and experiences can be the product of sadness, guilt, and judgement. Any of these feelings that tend to occur for extended periods of time can result in depression. Whether getting too much sleep, or not sleeping at all, people who are suffering from depression are likely to obtain sleep problems. Struggling with mental illnesses is difficult for those who are suffering its symptoms. Often time their true feelings may be invisible from the outside and unable to be easily observed by others. But there are several things to take notice that may help determine if someone is experiencing depression.
“I’m fine. I’m just tired”
Mental health advocate, Pauline Palita, had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She decided to use her disorder to empower others to speak up and talk about mental illness. Pauline powerfully took to Twitter, sparking attention to those who may be struggling with mental health. When people would ask her how she’s doing her, common response would be, “I’m fine, just tired”. The majority of people who receive this answer tend to easily accept that simple response. We believe it to be more a fact of life as opposed to a complaint or silent reach for help.
Pauline’s discussion on Twitter did not end there. She explains how people who are suffering from mental illnesses are constantly exhausted. “These are people whose brains are stuck in overdrive and have a great amount of difficulty unwinding to fall asleep at night”, Pauline writes. So many people find it hard to deal with depression, and many do not have the ability to even speak about it.
On average, a person will fall asleep within 7 minutes according to sleepadvisor.org. However, as Pauline states, those suffering from depression or mental illness have their sleep frequently disturbed, and can spend their nights tossing and turning instead of genuinely resting. Imagine going night after night for months, maybe even years without experiencing true rest- and how draining even that thought can feel? “When they wake up, they may feel slightly rested as opposed to the night before, but like a battery that has been damaged and never fully recharges”, the feeling is quite similar for those suffering with depression, Pauline states.
Conclusion – What can you do?
For those who suffer with depression, trying to develop and establish good sleeping habits can help you sleep longer while allowing you to truly rest. There are several steps that can aid in promoting sleep for those who suffer from depression. Going to bed at the same time nightly in an environment that promotes sleep is recommended. It is suggested to avoid taking naps longer than 20 minutes, and avoiding food and drinks such as caffeine and alcohol.
When someone with a mental illness states they are tired, chances here there is a deeper routed meaning. It’s important to speak to a doctor or professional if you are struggling with continuous exhaustion or believe you may be suffering from depression. Taking care of yourself includes getting the right amount of restful sleep, which in turn can deeply help you manage depression you may be experiencing.