Manage Fatigue From Anxiety With A Broader Approach
None of us have unlimited resources, though a lot of anxiety, depression and bipolar sufferers have a surprising amount of energy. Anxiety is energy, for that matter. It’s just not that useful when it comes in the form of panic attacks or negative thinking and worry.
Anxiety disorders wreak merry mayhem with your ability to recover from things like a poor night’s sleep. Maybe you don’t necessarily need more sleep. Maybe it takes a broader approach to control anxiety.
So, what are you doing to treat anxiety? Breaking free from anxiety is about somewhat nebulous things: mindfulness, the absence or presence of joy or peace, support, and those anxiety coping skills I’m always on about.
Don’t know any coping skills? Here’s one:
Think of a cup. That cup contains what I’ll go ahead and call my daily allowance of useful energy.
- Is there enough to get me through the day?
- How will I use it, and how strict do I need to be?
You don’t want a dried-out cup by midday. I like leftovers, because I’m not that sure tomorrow won’t be harder, that I won’t stumble or have a panic attack. Planning your day based on your energy level gives you an honest idea of what you can do in the following hours without overpromising or accepting challenges that will take too much out of you.
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What’s The Difference Between Low Mood And Depression
A general low mood can include:
However, a low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks.
Making some small changes in your life, such as resolving a difficult situation, talking about your problems or getting more sleep, can usually improve your mood.
A low mood that doesn’t go away can be a sign of depression. Symptoms of depression can include the following:
- low mood lasting two weeks or more
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- feeling hopeless
- feeling tired or lacking energy
- not being able to concentrate on everyday things like reading the paper or watching television
- comfort eating or losing your appetite
- sleeping more than usual or being unable to sleep
Read more about the symptoms of depression.
Depression can also come on at specific points in your life, such as the winter months and after the birth of a child .
Anxiety And Fatigue: Must I Be So Tired All The Time
We have ways to describe anxiety and fatigue: Bone-weary, bushed, all in, dazed, dopey, depleted, drugged. Washed-up, worn-out, dozy, dreamy. Soporific, sluggish, torpid, tuckered, done. One of the hardest parts of living with anxiety is how tired you get. Anxiety can cause extreme fatigue. In fact, the fatigue of anxiety, that lack of energy, is often the first tip that something’s really not okay.
You hear a lot of people today, worrying about lack of sleep. Quite rightly: More stress, longer hours, most spent under fluorescent lights that induce derealization, confusing our body clocks. The body usually ‘gets it’ and adjusts energy levels based on the amount of ambient light. Usually. If you’re dealing with the symptoms of anxiety as well, it’s harder. When the body doesn’t know if it’s time to stop or go then fatigue and insomnia may just settle in with a long-term lease.
That being said, people tend to overestimate the time they spend trying to get some rest, and underestimate the total amount they sleep. Yes, that’s from a study. No, I can’t cite it. I read about it a few years ago whilst nursing some lovely ladies with dementia, depression and such.
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Depression Affects Your Diet
When youre feeling depressed, you might have less of an appetite, skip meals, or have an overwhelming desire for sweet foods that have less nutritional value.
Large quantities of fat and sugar can make you feel groggy and tired.
Nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide healthy antioxidants and nutrients with energy-boosting effects and these are the foods that we tend to put to aside when depression arises.
How Are Cfs And Depression Different
CFS symptoms like severe fatigue often start or get worse after physical activity, so it could help to cut back on exercise. Depression symptoms sometimes improve after physical activity, so more exercise might make you feel better.
People with CFS often view it as a physical illness. People with depression usually think of their illness as psychological.
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You Have An Underactive Thyroid
Your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, secretes two major hormones that control major bodily functions and organs. From regulating body temperature to managing the heart and brain, your thyroid plays a big role in maintaining good health. So when your thyroid doesnt work properly, it throws your hormones out of whack. This could be one of the many reasons youre always tired.
If you have an underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, it means your body isnt getting enough thyroid hormones, and your cells dont get that get going signal, which leads to sluggishness. Chronic fatigue is one of the 10 Signs You Have an Underactive Thyroid, along with weight gain, high cholesterol, and a lower sex drive. Be sure to visit your doctor to get your thyroid checked with a simple blood test.
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Consuming Too Much Caffeine
Although caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks give you a temporary boost of energy, over-reliance on them may make you more tired the next day. Thats because too much caffeine can harm sleep, which may cause fatigue.
Research shows that feeling tired in the morning leads people to consume large amounts of caffeine, which impairs your sleep cycle. In turn, you may overuse coffee or other caffeinated drinks for energy, which continues the cycle of poor sleep followed by too much caffeine .
Drinking too much caffeine is linked to increased nighttime worrying, sleeplessness, increased nighttime awakenings, decreased total sleep time, and daytime sleepiness .
A study in 462 women linked high calorie coffee and energy drink intake to poor sleep quality and sleep disturbance. Those who didnt drink these beverages reported better sleep quality .
Still, caffeine tolerance varies, and some people are more sensitive to caffeines effects on sleep than others .
While coffee and caffeinated beverages like green tea may benefit health when consumed in moderation, energy drinks are extremely high in stimulants and added sugar. Thus, you should avoid them whenever possible .
If youre currently experiencing sleep issues and frequently drink caffeinated beverages, try cutting back to see whether it helps improve your sleep and energy levels.
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See Your Personal Physician
If extreme tiredness is getting in the way of your daily routine, the first thing you should do is see your doctor. They can rule out health-related conditions such as anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, or certain medications that may cause excessive sleepiness. They can also talk with you about a referral to a mental health professional.
Tips For Sleeping Better
Sleep problems can increase the risk of initially developing depression, and persistent sleep issues can also increase the risk of relapse in people who have successfully been treated for depression. As a result, taking some of the following steps can both help you sleep better, boost your mood, and help decrease some of the problematic symptoms of depression.
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Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, youll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with peoples lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, its never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.
Difficulty Getting Out Of Bed
Its normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel exhausting or difficult to do.
Personal Factors That Can Lead To Depression
Personal factors that can lead to a risk of depression include:
- family history depression can run in families and some people will be at an increased genetic risk. However, this doesnt mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the condition.
- personality some people may be more at risk because of their personality, particularly if they tend to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are perfectionists, are sensitive to personal criticism, or are self-critical and negative
- serious medical conditions these can trigger depression in two ways. Serious conditions can bring about depression directly or can contribute to depression through the associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of a condition or chronic pain
- drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.
Your Stomach’s Been Bothering You
Again, anxiety often goes hand in hand with physical symptoms, so don’t ignore any weird issues you might be experiencing. As Hershenson says, if you’re struggling with anxiety, “you likely will experience other symptoms such as stomach pain, migraines, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.” So if your tiredness comes with a heaping helping of bellyaches, it might be your anxiety acting up.
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Physical Causes Of Tiredness
There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired or exhausted.
Tiredness can also be the result of:
- pregnancy particularly in the first 12 weeks
- being overweight or obese your body has to work harder to do everyday activities
- being underweight poor muscle strength can make you tire more easily
- cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- carbon monoxide poisoning especially if your gas boiler has not been serviced regularly
- side effects of medicines and some herbal remedies
If you have been feeling constantly tired for more than 4 weeks, it’s a good idea to see your GP so they can confirm or rule out a medical condition that could be causing your tiredness.
Why Am I So Exhausted All Of A Sudden
It is possible that you are too exhausted to manage your daily affairs. There is usually a reason for the fatigue. It could be an allergic rhinitis, anemia, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, or abacterial or viral infections.
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It May All Be Rooted In Stress
Its not clear what causes depression, but prolonged stress seems to play a major role. When were stressed, the brain is flooded with the stress hormone cortisol. If stress remains heightened for a long time, there will be more cortisol and less dopamine and serotonine, the lack of which have been linked with depression. So, stress might exhaust the brain and lead to depression, which seems to trigger vicious cycles: youre depressed, so you become more stressfed out you have trouble sleeping, so you feel tired you feel tired so you dont feel like doing anything meaningful anymore. It really is terrible, and once the circle is complete, most people have a hard time breaking free.
This is why depression can be very cruel, and serious medical attention needs to be considered. Both depression and insomnia can be treated with antidepressants. The most antidepressants belong to the class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , and insomniacs who start taking one of those drugs often find relief for their sleeping problems. Non-pharmaceutical methods of addressing insomnia can also help with depression. A few short tips that might help include:
- exercising during the day, but avoid doing so two hours before planning to go to bed,
- avoid caffeine and alcohol,
- use deep-breathing exercises to relieve anxiety.
Hopefully this, article helps explain why depression makes you tired.
Tips For Coping With Depression
In addition to talking to a provider about treatments for depression, there are several steps you can take on your own:
- Exercise: Low-intensity exercise, even walking 10 minutes a day, can lead to improvements in mood and physical health. For some people with mild to moderate depression, exercise can work as effectively as an antidepressant.
- Support: Experiencing depression can feel isolating and hopeless, so remember that youre not alone. Spend time with others, talk about what youre experiencing, and try not to isolate yourself.
- Be realistic: Even with effective treatment, symptoms of depression may improve gradually.
Having depression can increase thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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Try Eating A Few More Nutritious Foods
Depression disrupts eating habits, which in turn can cause feelings of fatigue. Like implementing better sleeping habits, developing a more nutrient-rich diet can improve fatigue and exhaustion.
Some foods might help with depression, and a balanced diet helps to boost energy. This typically includes a range of unrefined carbs, proteins, and fats, with an emphasis on veggies, whole grains, and healthy oils.
Aside from just the types of food you should aim to eat, it also might be better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. More frequent eating, as opposed to a food overload in a few sittings, may result in more sustained fuel for your body.
Try Increasing Your Activities
It can be hard to find the motivation to do pretty much anything when youre depressed. And when your activity level drops, you might feel even less motivated and more tired. This leads to a vicious cycle.
With physical tiredness, you need to rest. But with depression, its the opposite. Sleeping and sitting around often make you feel more tired and also gives you time to sit with depressive thoughts, which can make you feel worse.
One way to break this cycle is to start gently increasing your activities. This is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique known as behavioral activation. The theory is that doing things will help give you the energy to do more things.
Again, start small, and prioritize manageable, reasonable activities that bring some enjoyment, or activities that provide a sense of achievement.
Here are some ideas for gentle activities to try:
- Go for a small walk, and smell the flowers that you pass on the way.
- Watch birds in your local park.
- Make a playlist of upbeat music.
- Move your body in a way that feels good.
- Research a topic that youre interested in.
- Do a jigsaw or a crossword puzzle.
- Make a warm drink.
- Rewatch a favorite movie.
- Have a spontaneous picnic.
For more ideas and for a worksheet to help you monitor your activities and mood changes, you can check out the Behavioural Strategies for Managing Depression worksheet from the Center for Clinical Interventions in Australia.
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Show Empathy And Compassion For People With Depression
Telling someone to buck up or this will pass minimizes the internal pain that they live with every day.
You feel unneeded, unnecessary and undesired. You feel helpless, out of place and uncomfortable in your own skin.#Depression is not just a bad day, its a serious issue and should be treated as such. #SuicidePreventionMonth#SuicidePrevention
Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression usually does not lead to suicide ideation. But, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, studies have shown that about two percent of people who have been treated for depression in an outpatient setting will die by suicide. If the treatment is inpatient, the number doubles to four percent. Men are more likely to die by suicide after depression than women. Find hotlines and organizations for support in our emergency mental health resources directory.
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