Physical Effects Of Depression
Depression can appear physically via symptoms felt in the body. Examples of physical effects of depression include sleep disturbance, appetite changes, poor concentration or memory, and a loss of interest in sex. Some people with depression may also feel chronic pain, experience gastrointestinal issues, or have a higher level of fatigue.
What Does Mdd Look Like In Teens
Lets get real: Teenagers act downright bananas most of the time. Even without clinical depression, they can channel the angst of a French existentialist and Evel Knievels self-destructive impulses in the span of an hour.
Some scientists think this is due to their stage of brain development. At this time, their anxiety and fear responses are high, and their ability to regulate emotions is low. The problem starts when they use maladaptive coping strategies .
These unhelpful habits can create or exacerbate depressive symptoms. Its important for teens to get treatment early. Heres a shocking stat: Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people age 15 to 24.
Along with the usual signs, a depressed teen is likely to:
Complain of headaches and stomachaches
Argue or fight with family and friends
Start skipping meals or eating everything in the house
Miss classes or after-school appointments
Self-isolate in their room
Not having any interest in social events
Extended amount of time spent on the internet and chatrooms
Let hygiene slip
See their grades drop
Start vaping, smoking, drinking, or doing drugs
Talk or joke about suicide, research suicide methods, seek out weapons
Psychological Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Besides making you feel drowsy and out of it, sleep deprivation can have major effects on your mental health. Sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of:
- Changes in mood and behavior such as increased irritability, anxiety, depression, and impulsivity
- Issues with higher-level thinking like judgment, planning, and organization
- Trouble concentrating and lower reaction times linked to a higher risk of accidents and injury and decreased productivity and performance at work and school
- Disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations
Sleep issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, and sleep-wake disorders often coincide with mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , posttraumatic stress disorder , and schizophrenia.
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Why Sleep Is So Important
Just like food, water, and air, restorative sleep is vital for your health. In terms of your mental health, sleep allows your brain to create new pathways and memories which help you learn, solve problems, pay attention, and make decisions. After a good nights sleep, youre more alert, able to think clearly and concentrate, and better control your emotions and behavior.
Sleep is also a necessity for your physical health as it helps your body grow, make repairs, maintain a healthy balance of hormones, and keep your immunity up. In light of this, its no surprise that sleep deprivation has been linked to a slew of chronic health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Fatigue Or Lack Of Energy
We all feel less energetic from time to time, so fatigue on its own isn’t necessarily a symptom of depression or a sign of a depressive episode, says Gabriela Cora, MD, managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. “However, if fatigue lingers and is accompanied by low mood and decreased motivation or interest, this lack of energy may be tied to early signs of depression,” she says.
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What Does Mdd Look Like In Children
As much as we hate thinking about kids experiencing MDD, the harsh truth is that around 5% of children and adolescents experience depression at any given time. The number may be much higher, since the symptoms arent always the ones parents expect and they may not seek help.
Along with the usual signs, a depressed kid is likely to:
Be irritable, frustrated, angry, and on edge
Have frequent crying fits and temper tantrums
Being aloof and not having any interest in interacting with peers or classmates
Become super-sensitive to scolding or criticism
Complain of recurring tummy aches or headaches
Try to get out of going to school, after-school activities, and on playdates
See a decline in school performance
Experiment with vaping, smoking, or alcohol
What Are The Effects Of Lack Of Sleep And Depression
Not getting enough restful sleep can affect your emotional health. In other words, a chronic lack of sleep can cause depression. Although it is unlikely that lack of sleep alone can be the sole cause of depression, it combined with other factors can trigger depression in some people. Links between depression and lack of sleep have been commonly found in studies.
Some of the well-established effects of lack of sleep on depression are:
- That people with insomnia have a significantly higher risk of developing depression.
- Other sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome are associated with a higher probability that an individual will suffer from depression. It has also been shown that the treatment of sleep apnea also improves the depression as well.
- Children with depression who experience irregular sleep patterns are more likely to have longer and more severe episodes of depression.
But the good news is that when it comes to treating patients who exhibit symptoms of depression and a chronic lack of sleep, treating one condition can help better treat the other.
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How Is Depression Treated
While depression can have dramatic effects on a persons sleep and overall quality of life, it can be treated. After working with a doctor or mental health provider to understand the type and severity of depression, treatment may include:
- Counseling: Depression can be treated effectively with several types of counseling, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy . CBT for insomnia is a type of CBT that focuses on managing chronic insomnia.
- Medications: Antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression. These prescription medications usually take time before they begin to improve symptoms and patients may need to try several antidepressants before finding the right fit. A doctor or psychiatrist can discuss the appropriateness of these medications and recommend a specific type.
- Brain stimulation therapies: When medications and other approaches are not effective, some people with depression consider electroconvulsive therapy or other, more recent types of brain stimulation like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation . These treatments can be effective but are only provided under the guidance of a trained professional.
Treatment often isnt limited to just one of these approaches in fact, combining medication and psychotherapy has shown higher rates of improvement than one approach alone.
Which One Is It
Mild emotional symptoms and difficulty concentrating when you know you are dealing with sleep debt can likely be attributed to sleep deprivation. While sleep debt can be dangerous , it can be remedied with proper sleep hygiene and stress reduction techniques.
Major depressive disorder, on the other hand, can significantly impair functioning and requires further treatment than proper sleep and stress reduction. A depressed mood that lasts two weeks or longer is a red flag to seek help from a licensed mental health practitioner. If you or a loved one experiences suicidal thoughts, dial 911 or go the nearest emergency room for an evaluation.
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Getting Help For Depression
The fundamental treatment protocol for depression involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy:
- Psychotherapy. One-on-one talk therapy sessions allow the therapist to guide the individual toward resolving unaddressed emotional issues that may be contributing to the depression. These may involve past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss, divorce, and other painful life events. Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful for helping to guide patients toward established more self-affirming thoughts that lead to positive thought/behavior patterns. Group therapy sessions, such as a depression support group, can also be beneficial to individuals being treated for depression.
- Medication. Antidepressant drug therapy is the industry standard for depression treatment. There are dozens of antidepressants on the market today. These include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclic antidepressants. The drugs vary in how they impact brain chemistry, and dosing adjustments or even changing to a different drug is common when trying to find the best fit for each patient.
What People With Depression Hope You Can Understand
Its not the greatest to have these things in common for these to be things that people with depression bond and empathize over. But hopefully this helps others who dont know what its like to understand why we might fall off the radar or show up a little unkempt sometimes. Were fighting these feelings every day.
Sometimes, something as simple as paying bills can be considered a win.
Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker and award-winning writer. Her blog, Bipolar Burble, consistently places among the top 10 health blogs online. Natasha is also an author with the acclaimed Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar to her credit. She is considered a major influencer in the area of mental health. She has written for many sites including HealthyPlace, HealthLine, PsychCentral, The Mighty, Huffington Post and many others.
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The Link Between Depression And Lack Of Sleep
Sleep deprivation and depression often go hand in hand. For starters, sleep deprivation can have serious effects on your mental health. Chronic sleep problems affect nearly 50 to 80% of patients who visit a common psychiatric practice. Although the connection between sleep and mental health is not yet known, studies suggest that sleep is important for fostering emotional and mental resilience. When sleep-deprived, people are more likely to experience more emotional vulnerability and negative thinking.
Sleep is important for restoring both the body and the brain and when someone experiences either disrupted sleep or not the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, it can have harmful effects on mental health. For example, those who suffer from insomnia are 10 times more likely to suffer from depression and 17 times more likely to suffer from anxiety. The less sleep one gets, the more likely they will suffer from a mental health disorder.
So whats preventing patients from getting enough sleep? One of the conditions that can cause you to have disrupted sleep is sleep apnea and it often goes undiagnosed. There are many instances where patients seek help for their mental illnesses but not the underlying cause of them. Without sleep apnea treatment, depression and anxiety disorders might not improve as much as they should.
I Was One Of The Walking Depressed Some Of My Clients Are Too
We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.
On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.
But were doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.
Our depression may not be completely disabling, but its real.
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Feeling Guilty All The Time
Guilt is a perfectly normal feeling. If you do something you regret, guilt will follow. The thing with depression though, is that it can cause feelings of guilt over nothing or over everything.
Feeling guilty is actually a symptom of depression and its the reason why when I experience depression, I feel like Im taking on the ills of the world. For example, people with depression may feel guilty about not being able to help people who are victims of a natural disaster and this, in turn, makes them feel that theyre worthless.
Of course, feeling guilty about things closer to home, such as feeling incredibly guilty over a disagreement, is even more common.
Residual Insomnia: Relapse And Recurrence
There is much evidence that effective antidepressant treatments can successfully elicit significant response in depression, but is much less evidence that effective treatment fully addresses the problem of sleep disturbance. Persistent insomnia is one of the most common residual symptoms in patients with incomplete remission: This presents a problem, given the fact that residual insomnia confers greater risk of subsequent depression: in a study of remitted patients maintained on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibotor and psychotherapy, subjective sleep problems and anxiety were each found to be predictors of early recurrence. The origin of these residual symptoms of insomnia is probably multifactorial, reflecting ongoing functional brain abnormalities as well as adverse effects of some drug treatments, for example SSRIs, particularly fluoxetine, can lead to insomnia.
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Spend Time Outside During The Day
Spending time in natural light during the day can help regulate your circadian rhythm. The internal biological clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle is influenced by light when theres less light at night, your body releases melatonin.
In the morning, the sun cues your brain and body to wake up. If youre spending all your time indoors in the dark, you might suffer from sleep problems. Regular exercise can also help with sleep issues, as well as depression, provided its not done immediately before bed.
How I Quit Sleeping Through Depression
My depression was treated with both medication and CBT . Medication can be put within arms reach on a bedside table, under the pillow. And, some therapists offer CBT over the phone. No need to get out of bed at all. But for me, given my penchant for sleeping, getting out of bed was as essential first step along the road to recovery.
At the beginning, it was absolutely the hardest thing I had to do. I would wake up, dress, drive to the therapist, sob through therapy, drive home, undress, go to bed and fall back asleep. My therapist suggested that I should try to extend the amount of time between when I got home from an appointment and when I went back to bed. Five minutes the first day, ten minutes the next, and so on. Slower if need be. While longer awake times meant longer bouts of pain, it also forced me to deal with that pain using other CBT techniques.
I love sleeping. It is my single most favorite thing. Which is why it is also the most dangerous symptom of my depression. Too much sleep, repeated oversleeping, also has the potential to bring me down . . . way down. I must be very, very diligent, aware of my symptoms and committed to my recovery.
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Stay Alert For Signs Of Depression
These include feeling hopeless, helpless or sad trouble concentrating and remembering things loss of energy daytime sleepiness loss of interest in activities that once gave you pleasure or thoughts of suicide or death. Tell your doctor if you have any of these.
This is especially important if youre discussing insomnia with your doctor. Insomnia may be a separate condition or it may be a symptom of depression, Finan explains. Your doctor needs to know as much as possible to treat the right problem.
Do You Feel Sleep Deprived
Take our 2-minute Sleep Deprivation and Depression quizzes to see if you simply aren’t getting enough sleep or if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
Sleep deprivation weakens the prefrontal cortexs ability to control the amygdala , making it difficult to process and cope with emotions. When the brain is deprived of adequate sleep, it also struggles to concentrate and regulate growth and appetite.
Sleep deprivation can have a profound effect on both the emotional and cognitive functioning of the brain. This results in bad moods, negative thinking, decreased empathy, and poor impulse control.
The good news is that sleep deprivation can be treated, and getting on a regular sleep cycle can alleviate the above symptoms.
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What Are Depression Naps
To many people, it wont come as a surprise that sleep and mental health are closely intertwined. Sleeping for extensive amounts of time is commonly associated with diagnoses of depression, which is usually accompanied by several other symptoms and identifying factors.
In fact, several studies have shown that between 65% to 90% of adult patients with major depression have experienced sleep dysfunction in some form. One example is by napping for long periods on a daily basis, a practice also referred to as a depression nap.
According to Alex Dimitriu, MD, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, California, depression naps refer to taking a nap when youre feeling low, in an effort to boost your mood. But it might not necessarily indicate a serious problem.
It is important to realize there is a very big difference between feeling tired, sleepy, sad, and depressed, Dr. Dimitriu says. A lot of times it can be hard to know your own feelings, and too often in my work, people with fatigue end up thinking they are depressed.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Insomnia
In populations with depression, CBTi delivered in person delivers mood and sleep improvements 10.
As mentioned earlier, if sleep is improved then mood should improve and this appears to be the case10. The same is observed for remote CBTi but the evidence base isnât quite as strong right now. This may be because:
- The closer interaction between therapist and client leads to greater investment on the part of the client â they want to see the treatment through and have real support in doing so.
- The varied way in which remote CBTi is currently delivered introduces differences in efficacy. Being treated by a robot following a script will never have the same level of tailoring that might be needed for the best treatment outcomes.
Our own survey data collected here at Sleepstation demonstrates that CBTi can help with depression.
We note that a large percentage of people we treat for poor sleep also report an improvement in their depressive symptoms if theyâre living with depression as well as poor sleep.
We believe thatâs because of the unique way in which we deliver remote CBTi. Components of a well designed course of CBTi will include, but arenât limited to:
- Help with building habits good for sleep e.g. keeping a consistent sleep/wake schedule and mild exercise before bed
- Teaching methods to deal directly with unhelpful beliefs
- Relaxation strategies to manage anxiety once in bed
- Individualised, personalised support.
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