Talk To Your Doctor About Depression And Sleep Issues
If youre experiencing depression, sleep disturbances, or both, its important to seek help.
Its also important to talk to your doctor if youre experiencing depression and hypersomnia, or excessive sleepiness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fewer than 20 percent of Americans who had moderate depressive symptoms had seen a mental health practitioner in the previous year. Medicines and therapy usually can help reduce depression and improve sleep.
Its also possible theres a more direct link between sleep and depression. People successfully treated for obstructive sleep apnea experienced lasting and reduced depression symptoms, according to the NSF. A sleep study can determine whether or not you have sleep apnea.
Before seeing a doctor about depression and sleep issues, its helpful to track your sleep for a few weeks so you can share examples of your sleep schedule, sleep quality, and how you felt emotionally during that time.
The doctors at UPMC can help you sleep better and tackle your depression. Whether youre suffering from depression and sleeping a lot or not getting nearly enough rest, theres no need to suffer alone.
Depression And Dreams: How Mental Health Affects Your Dreams
From the outlandish claims of Sigmund Freud to modern-day dream interpretation, dreams have long been a mystery to many.
Some people tend to have scarier dreams. Others have dreams that simply dont make sense. Still, other people have lucid dreams that they can control. Everybody is unique, but is there a connection between your dreams and your mental health?
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.
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Depression Symptoms To Watch For
While severe sadness is the most well-known symptom of depression, knowing how to recognize other signs can help head off a future depressive episode.
If you’re one of the 20 million people in America with depression, you know that it’s not a condition to be taken lightly. It’s important to manage symptoms of depression with therapy and medication as prescribed by your doctor, both to feel better now and to reduce the risk of a depressive episode in the future.
One of the best ways to minimize the physical and emotional damage of an episode of depression is to recognize depression early and take action which can mean getting back on track with treatment or talking to your doctor about whether your treatment plan needs to be reviewed and revised. But not all symptoms of depression are easy to identify, and the early signs can be different for everyone. Here are some common symptoms you should look for.
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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Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast
Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares what it means to have ‘existential depression,’ featuring Melissa & Doug’s co-founder Melissa Bernstein.
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Symptoms of depression can occur along a spectrum both in duration and severity. Mild depression can occur during periods of stress but resolve with time and may not require any specific treatment. Moderate to severe depression causes chronic symptoms and usually requires at least one form of treatment, if not multiple treatments.
Generally speaking, severe depression requires some type of treatment to find some relief. Additionally, depression severity can change over time, growing increasingly worse or alternating between mild and severe during the same depressive episode.
If someone has severe depression, they may self-harm, have suicidal thoughts, or be at risk for attempting suicide. If you are severely depressed, help is available to help you manage your symptoms and ensure your safety and well-being.
Understand And Identify Neurotic Loops
Neurotic loops develop when people have negative feelings about their negative feelings. Yes, you read that correctly. You have feelings about your feelings. Today we want to get clear about why this is so, and why it drives many people into depressive caves. (Note that they are called neurotic because although the person is trying to cope and control in an effort to make things better, the strategies often backfire and make things worse.
To begin, let me ask you a few questions about how you think about your feelings. Do you ever fear your depressed moods and fight against them ?
Do you ask yourself questions like Why cant I just be happy? or What is wrong with me? Do you fear or feel uncomfortable with certain feelings, like being vulnerable or sad or angry? Do you criticize yourself for the feelings you do have? Do you try to suppress, avoid, deny or control your feelings? Are you sometimes overwhelmed by your feelings and feel flooded by them, even as you try to escape them? If you answered yes to these questions, then you may well be struggling with neurotic loops.
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Ways To Help Your Depressed Boyfriend
If your boyfriend is depressed or going through a tumultuous time, we know this situation can be extremely distressing for you as well. You probably spend a lot of time worrying about him and trying to make things easier for him. Always make sure he stays away from any triggers, ensuring that he doesnt have any major episodes and always censoring your own behavior so as to not upset him having a depressed boyfriend can be quite the responsibility on your shoulders.
With a brave smile and optimistic outlook, you might try to uplift his spirits as often as you can. Loving someone with depression or helping a depressed boyfriend is just not an easy thing to do. The stress from your loved ones lack of well-being can truly take a toll on your own mental health too.
But that does not mean you should give up or walk out on them. Relationships always bring their own crazy set of hurdles and this is just one of them. If you do truly love him, then your heart will ask you to stay and be the best girlfriend you can be to him.
But if youre asking I do love him intensely but I dont know how to help my depressed boyfriend, then your worries can end right here. We are here to help you figure out how you can help your boyfriend through this situation, with insights from psychologist Nandita Rambhia , who specializes in CBT, REBT and couples counseling.
What Do You Do When You Are Depressed
I am asking that you let go of the rope and simply look over at the beast standing there. Of course, doing so does not kill the beast. It is still there with you. But it also means you are not immediately fighting with it, trying to force it away. Remember, you are not alone: Imagine there are lots of people in lots of tug of wars with their beasts. Now imagine everyone letting go of the rope and then sharing with each other the fact that they have been engaged in a struggle.
The main point here is that we are shifting our attitude. Our step in this episode is to stop with a frontal assault that involves directly fighting, escaping, or trying to bury the beast that is depressed. Rather, it is about looking at it.
And, yes, in part that means living with it. This may feel scary and might well seem to be the exact opposite of what your instincts have been telling you: After all, you may be thinking, I just want to be happy!
That is understandable. But what we are starting on are the lessons of awareness and acceptance. They are not easy lessons. Finally, although you may feel alone in your cave, recall that you are not. Depression is something that, directly or indirectly, affects us all. We all need to pull together and help each other reverse the cycles of shutting down.
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A great Buddhist insight is that suffering is the combination of pain and resistance.
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What Exactly Is A Neurotic Loop
It is when folks get into a battle with their feelings that leaves them depleted, stressed, and feeling even more critical about themselves. Such loops usually involve three things.
The first is a neurotic temperament.As was described in Part IV, this refers to the set point of the negative emotion system. It relates to how sensitive you feel, how strongly you react to negative events, and how long it takes you after a stressor to return to baseline.
The second primary ingredient is the stressors you face, relative to your felt sense of security.This refers to the real-life problems in living that threaten your core needs and leave you feeling insecure and psychologically malnourished. Key psychological needs include the need for safety , the need to be connected to and valued by important others, the need for achievement and competence, the need for crucial resources , and the need for play, growth, and exploration.
The third ingredient relates to how folks cope and react to their feelings in these stressful and psychologically difficult circumstances.When those secondary reactions are negative and controlling in regards to the primary feeling, then folks can find themselves in a neurotic loop.
Where does the narrator get the ideas for what an individual ought to feel? Originally, these notions come from other people, either directly or indirectly. We learn rules and roles and what we should do and feel from our families and friends growing up.
Diagnosing Depression And Fatigue
To make a depression diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and give you a questionnaire that assesses depression. They may use other methods, such as blood tests or X-rays, to make sure another disorder isnt causing your symptoms.
Before diagnosing you with chronic fatigue syndrome, your doctor will run several tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. These may include restless leg syndrome, diabetes, or depression.
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Incidence Of Sleep Symptoms In Depression
Symptoms of disturbed night-time sleep in people with depression have been described extensively in both clinical and epidemiological studies. In clinical samples, difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or both have been reported in about three quarters of all depressed patients., In epidemiological samples examining insomnia symptoms and depression, sleep symptoms occurred in 50% to 60% in a sample of young adults aged 21 to 30. In a UK population sample , the incidence of insomnia symptoms in a wide age range of patients with depression increased with age. Overall, 83% of depressed patients had at least one insomnia symptom, compared with 36% who did not have depression. This varied from 77% in the 16-to-24-year age group to 90% in the 55-to-64-year age group. When the authors looked at the value of sleep symptoms as a screening aid for depression, the proportion of participants with depression who reported symptoms of insomnia sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of insomnia was 41%, and the proportion without depression and without a diagnosis was 96%. This supports the statement mentioned above that diagnosing depression without sleep complaints needs care.
Habits That Can Make Your Depression Worse
There are a number of risk factors associated with developing major depressive disorder, including temperament, environmental factors , genetics, and other mental health and medical disorders.1 Most of these triggers of depression are out of the realm of control for the depressed patient. There are, however, some habits within the realm of control that can worsen symptoms of depression.
Depression is a serious medical condition that can be treated with counseling, medication, or a combination of the two, but people struggling with depression can also make lifestyle changes to help alleviate symptoms. It helps to look at choices and habits that can contribute to depressive symptoms to understand how to make healthy choices during the treatment process.
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The Conclusion To The Series
The tour started with finding ones self in the cave of a depressive shutdown, which is a brutal place to be. We have acknowledged the nature of depression as a state of shutdown and charted a possible path via awareness and acceptance. We focused first on getting a clear understanding of depression, neuroticism, and well-being.
Then we shifted into active, practical domains and focused on skills fostering behavioral activation, healthy lifestyles, healthy biology, more adaptive processing of emotions, reviewed the keys to fulfilling relationships, adaptive thinking and finally conclude today with deeper work on the self and developing a life philosophy that fosters both awareness of the darkness and an authentic growth-to-goodness outlook for the soul .
I hope you have found this series helpful. As everyone who has been depressed knows, it sucks, and I extend you compassion for your suffering. The magnitude of depression as a public health problem is enormous, and we all need to come together and share in offering the best we can to help reverse the cycles that feed the beast. Please share this series with anyone who might benefit. I will put a final full summary blog together so it can be sent with one link.
In addition, any discussion of depression must include awareness of the fact that significant numbers of people who are depressed have suicidal ideation. Please get help if you are dealing with suicidal thoughts or impulses .
Triggers And Treatments For Depression
If you can identify what’s triggering depression in your pet, you’ll learn to spot the symptoms earlier. This will help you figure how to help your pet feel better.
- Environmental Changes As with people, events going on around your pet can cause him to feel depressed and anxious. Changes in a dog’s environment or living circumstances can trigger depression and anxiety. For example, dogs can experience depression and grief when another pet or human member of the household is ill or dies. This is also true when a family member moves away or changes schedules. When summer ends and your dog is suddenly alone most of the day after having children around all summer, symptoms of depression triggered by separation anxiety and loneliness can occur.
- Weather and Seasonal Changes Just as in humans, changes in seasons can have an impact on pet moods, as do periods of extended bad weather. For example, the moods of dogs that live in areas where hurricanes occur can be impacted by the change in atmospheric pressure. Additionally, just as the onset of winter can lead to seasonal affective disorder in some people, it can also an impact on dogs.
- Loss of a Companion This is probably the number one cause of depression in dogs. Dogs create strong emotional bonds with both their fellow dogs whom they see regularly as well as those who care for them. The loss of a friend or loved one is difficult on everyone and this is no different for your dog and they need ample time to grieve.
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Get A Workout Routine
I know this is an annoying thing to hear someone say when youre depressed because it is incredibly difficult to make yourself work out when youre depressed.
Even people that dont have depression struggle with getting into a regular fitness routine and sticking with it.
Getting in shape takes a lot of discipline and it is not an easy thing to do.
However, I have to talk about it here because of it freaking works.
If you struggle with depression you need to be working out.
There have even been studies that show exercising can be just as effective as a lot of medication when it comes to treating depression.
I take anti-depressants and wholeheartedly advocate for them so Im not suggesting you substitute medication with exercise.
I am just telling you that the reason everyone is always saying to work out when youre depressed is that it really does freaking work.
Commit to doing some kind of exercise every single day.
Yes, every day. You dont have to become a cross-fitter or even join a gym but you do need to go for a walk, do some yoga or do something.
For my exercise is VITAL for my mental health. It might actually be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I do to manage my depression and anxiety.
When I was depressed I thought people telling me to exercise was the most annoying thing in the world.
Now Im the person doing the recommending because it worked for me and quite honestly it changed my life.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Help
It is important to identify sleep problems in older adults. If you really find an elderly sleeping too much, you may want to learn more about the underlying cause first. This could be a warning sign of dementia, so you need to have a correct diagnosis first. Your doctor will help you develop a plan to improve things a bit.
Similarly, you may want to consider the medications you are giving to an elderly in your home. See if they are taking antipsychotic medications, antihistamines, cardiovascular medications, or other medications to treat a medical condition. Talk to your doctor and ask about the side effects of these medications. They may change the prescription to see if it improves the condition of the patient.
What’s more, Alzheimer’s disease can cause sleep disruptions and sleep problems, but you can help the patient by establishing a nighttime routine as well as a daytime routine that includes a degree of physical activity. Sometimes, an older adult in your home feels a bit left out, and this makes them feel bored and depressed. The solution is to sit with them, talk to them, and involve them in your day-to-day activities to make them feel active throughout the day.
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