Why Do Depressed People Sleep So Much
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- This article will provide you with answers to the questions of depression and oversleeping, and depression and fatigue. It will also help you understand the subtle differences between the three.
Percentage of people in the U.S. who suffered from depression from 2010 to 2017. Source: Statista
Percentage of U.S. adults with a major depressive episode in the past year as of 2019, by age and gender. Source: Statista
Depression is a serious health concern/issue in America. The seriousness of the issue comes out starkly from the two surveys represented in the two charts above. Between 2010 and 2017, it would seem to suggest that the rate remained somewhat fixed in the 4% region. And then two years later, it appears to have shot up especially among the younger age group of 18 25.
What could have caused this one might ask? The cause is uncertain and does not come out from those surveys and that is why in this article, we want to help you unpack the subject of depression and sleeping a lot and/or tiredness. Knowing the differences between depression and oversleeping and depression and fatigue will help you to understand when to get help should you suspect you may have a case of depression.
What Does It Mean When Someone Sleeps A Lot And Is Oversleeping Or Sleeping A Lot A Sign Of Depression Depression Versus Oversleeping For Other Reasons
Number of hours of sleep U.S. adults aged 40 years and older needed to function at their best during the day as of 2016. Source: Statista
Getting enough sleep is essential to being able to function properly and optimally and live a longer life. From the above survey sourced from Statista, 35% of American adults surveyed who were aged 40 years and above said they needed at least 7 hours of their sleep to be at their best. Sleeping for at least 7 9 hours is not just peculiar to the persons surveyed in the above chart. It is also the scientific benchmark for the total hours an adult should sleep for, also confirmed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on their website here.
What this means is that generally speaking, anything above 8 9 hours is or would be considered to be oversleeping and/or sleeping a lot. And for most people, especially persons who need to constantly be at work, oversleeping/sleeping a lot can be fatal to meeting a deadline and the likes. And that is why at least 33% of Americans take coffee in a bid to avoid sleeping a lot, while at least 3% go to extreme measures of taking an Rx stimulant.
Percentage of adults in the U.S. who took select actions to deal with sleepiness in 2019. Source: Statista
Here are 5 other main reasons why people sleep a lot or oversleep, that has nothing to do with depression:
B12 Deficiency Or Insufficiency
Getting enough vitamin B12 is crucial for brain health, your immune system, and your metabolism. As we age, though, our ability to absorb B12 declines. “Fatigue is one of the first signs of B12 deficiency,”Lisa Cimperman, RD, told Prevention in a previous interview about B12 deficiency symptoms. Certain diabetes and heartburn medications and digestive disorders like IBS and Crohn’s hinder your body’s ability to absorb B12. And if you follow a plant-based diet, you also have an increased risk, since B12 occurs naturally only in meat, eggs, shellfish, and dairy.
The symptoms: In addition to fatigue, you may be low on B12 if you’re experiencing bouts of tingling in hands and feet, memory lapses, dizziness, anxiety, and vision problems.
The tests: If your doctor expects you’re low on B12, you’ll undergo a simple blood test.
The treatments: Depending on your blood test results, your doctor may suggest working more dietary sources of B12 into your eating plan or taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
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Socialize With Friends And Family
Even if you are experiencing mild depression or a funk, you might find yourself drawing away from others, avoiding social situations, or not wanting to burden people with your feelings. One of the hardest but most helpful things you can do to see yourself through depression is to find that strong support circle and spend time with the people you love.
Schedule times to visit with family and friends or plan to grab lunch with a coworker so you have a specific time and place where you can lean on others when youre feeling blue. You might also find that some of these people have experienced depression themselves and they might be able to relate with you on the subject and share ideas of what has helped them in the past or just lend an open ear.
If Youre Forcing Yourself To Be Happy Try
You dont have to be as excited about the holidays as everyone around you acts like they are. You might have experienced grief during this holiday in years past or are exhausted from the other reasons listed below. Memories of the past and present are all valid reasons to feel down.
Expectations of togetherness, harmony, being loved and supported, and celebrating together can leave many people feeling very disappointed, sad, and even more lonely, says Dr. Gail Saltz, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical College.
Instead of pretending to be happy every moment no one is allow yourself to feel any negative emotions and process them.
Another helpful technique can be to find a positive activity. Think about something you would genuinely enjoy doing over the holidays. Do you want to make a paper turkey hand like when you were a kid? Cook your familys apple pie? Lean into big and small joys with your loved ones.
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You Can Play A Role In Research By Joining A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a critical role in our studies.
For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.
Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
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Could It Be Depression
While not everyone with depression will feel sad, unexplainable sadness you cant seem to shake is one of the primary signs of depression.
If your sadness does relate to depression, youll likely feel sad nearly all of the time almost every day, for most of each day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer. Sadness, in other words, seems to become a constant companion.
With depression, youll experience other symptoms, too. If several of the signs below accompany your sad or tearful mood, theres a good chance youre dealing with depression:
- feelings of anxiety or emptiness
- a sense of pessimism and hopelessness about the future
- appetite changes
Chronic sadness, especially when related to depression, might also prompt regular thoughts of death or suicide. Even if you dont have a plan to act on these thoughts, its always best to talk to someone you trust and get support right away .
You might begin to notice your feelings of sadness, along with any other symptoms you experience, follow a specific pattern. Depression can take different forms, and various underlying factors can have an impact on the way your symptoms show up.
A few things to look for:
Depression Doesnt Need A Cause
Some people mistakenly believe that a person can only be justified in their depression if theres a cause or reason for them to be depressed. If youre unemployed, just suffered the loss of a relationship or loved one, or just found out you have a life-threatening disease, people react more kindly. They see ones depression as justified and appropriate.
But for the vast majority of people with depression, there is no reason and there is no cause for their feelings. Depression is so often painful and difficult for people because others dont understand this fact. For many, if theres no impetus driving the depression, theres no reason or need to feel depressed. For someone with depression, this feels devaluing that they shouldnt feel the way they feel.
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Burnout This Time Of The Year Is Real: Be Intentional With Your Energy
Reaching the end of a year can be a doozy, especially after a rocky year when theres no telling what the next one will bring. In this case, youre bound to be burnt out as the holidays approach, especially when navigating what celebrating will look like.
While you may be inclined to go along with what other people expect of you for the holidays, ignoring your mental needs can be dangerous especially if youre put in a difficult situation.
Saltz cautions that forced interaction with toxic people in your life or family, and an increase in alcohol can exacerbate feelings of depression.
Instead, think about who youd like to spend time with over the holidays, virtually or not, and what would revive you. While self-care can feel a bit general, there are so many science-backed ways to take care of your mental health.
Throw a dance party with your circle, sit with a good book, or redecorate your space for a fresh start in the new year. Whatever you choose, do it because you know it will make you feel better.
Some Common Causes Of Depression
Some factors that contribute to depression include:
- Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
- Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
- Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.
Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.
To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.
A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.
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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
Depression Can Be Treated
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy , or a combination of the two.
Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medicines to find the one that works best. Researchers also are studying and developing other medications for depression, such as brexanolone for postpartum depression, and esketamine. You can learn about recent developments on these and other medications at NIMH’s Science News webpage under the topic Treatments.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The particular approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the training and experience of the therapist. Therapists also may combine and adapt elements of different approaches.
Depression affects each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best. You can learn more about the different types of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies, on the NIMHs webpage about depression. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, and newly approved medications.
What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist
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Can Certain Drugs Cause Depression
In certain people, drugs may lead to depression. For example, medications such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and the acne drug isotretinoin have sometimes been linked with depression, especially in older people. Likewise, medications such as corticosteroids, opioids , and anticholinergics taken to relieve stomach cramping can sometimes cause changes and fluctuations in mood. Even blood pressure medications called beta-blockers have been linked to depression.
What Is Focused Meditation
Meditation is the practice of becoming self-aware through breath and attention to connect the mind, body, and spirit.Meditation as a whole can change the structure and function of our brain. That being said, focused meditation or a guided meditation for focus is by far the best one. Meditation for focus and concentration can come in different forms. Experienced meditators use the following:
- Mindfulness this meditation involves us to be focusing on your breath and observing thoughts. This allows us to focus on our feelings without becoming too absorbed in them.
- Concentrative a meditation that gets us to focus on a particular point be it a word, breath, object, or a point in the space youre meditating. This is meant for us to pay attention to that point and prevent our minds from getting distracted.
- Moving this meditation involves gets us to focus on slow and repetitive movements similar to yoga or tai chi. The goal is again to be focusing on your breath while relaxing your body and mind with the movements.
Focused meditation, also known as concentrative meditation, is the practice of meditating and bringing your attention to one single object. This object can be something practical and tangible, such as a mandala painting or a candle flame. It can also be something abstract, such as a phrase or a sound .
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