Not Wanting To Leave The House
Some people with depression can be housebound for weeks or longer. There are plenty of reasons for this, depending on who you ask. For some, its self-hatred. For others, crushing fatigue. Depression has this power to zap not only your will, but also your physical ability to leave the house.
The energy required to go grocery shopping is out of reach. The fear that every person you run into will hate you is real. This thought loop of uncertainty creates an environment where its almost impossible to get out the front door.
Morning Depression: The Best Solution You Will Ever Find
Lets explore what its like to have morning depression: Have you ever woken up in the morning and experienced sadness that enfolded you? Do you find yourself struggling to get out of bed?
Like no matter how hard you try you cant put a smile on your face in the morning?
You are not sleepy, but something heavy, keeps holding you down, sort of a pinch in the heart that says, Stay in bed. Dont get up.
BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEEPPPPP!!! *annoying alarm going off*Is it morning already? Already you can feel the depression. Youve been awake for just seconds and you already want to get back to sleep.Maybe just a few more minutesThen a few more.And a few more after that.
What You Can Do
If the symptoms of morning depression sound familiar to you, you can take steps to get help.
Get the right diagnosis. Talk to your doctor or health care provider to understand if you may have something more than temporary mood swings.
Recommended Reading: How To Motivate Yourself When Depressed
Can Shift Work Spur Depression
Research suggests that shift workers may be as much as 33% more likely to have depression than those working a regular daytime schedule. The explanation behind this somber statistic is unknown, but it may have something to do with disrupted sleep.
Michael Grandner, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, says that shift workers can present with a range of sleep disorders from insomnia to circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders.
Why does this happen? Since shift workers get most of their sleep during the day, their sleep runs against the bodys 24-hour clockalso known as the circadian rhythm. This internal clock responds to indications of light and dark and sends out signals that keep us awake during the day and asleep at night.
A night workers circadian rhythm is in conflict with the suns light/dark schedule, and evidence suggests that if this rhythm doesnt adjust properly, their day sleep gets continually disrupted by signals of wakefulness. This leaves night workers with fewer hours of sleep, causing them to wake up feeling fatigued instead of well-rested.
Schedule Time With Friends
Having an offbeat schedule can throw you out of sync with your family and friends, causing you to miss out on social events and even day to day communications. This means that youll have to do a little more planning to stay connected with loved ones.
Grandner suggests working together with loved ones to schedule moments when both parties share free time. When your calendars simply dont align, he recommends planning out asynchronous communications, such as sending out a text message for a sleeping friend to wake up to.
As a night worker, Repasky found a way to match his time off with those around him. The best rhythm Ive found is to sleep when I get home from work in the morning, then be socially active in the evenings, then go to work again. This way, his schedule falls in line with day workers, except that work and sleep are flipped.
On a positive note, night shifts tend to be quieter and less occupied . This intimacy may help you forge a tighter bond with your coworkers.
You May Like: Can Depression Get Worse Even With Medication
What The Doctor Ordered
Therapy is often the best treatment for morning depression. Though it isnt perfect for everyone, discussing all your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional is a great way to understand your depression and the best ways to get through it.
Going to therapy might feel scary, but even just a couple of sessions could give you much better coping mechanisms for those days you dont want to get up. If you dont have the cash to see a therapist, there are low cost options out there. Go to for more information about the resources near you or check out this handy dandy article.
For some people, antidepressant medication is the best option, although theres no pill specifically for morning depression.
It can take a while to find the right medication and dosage for you. If your pills are causing side effects that are worse than the depression, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about trying a different medication. They can make adjustments until you get the balance you need.
Some studies also suggest that light therapy, in combination with medication, may help with depression.
More research needs to be done, but there are some promising results that suggest BLT sessions in the morning may be effective in treating depression.
Treatment For Seasonal Affective Disorder: Light Therapy
The mainstay of winter SAD treatment is light therapy, otherwise known as phototherapy. Light therapy aims to replace the missing daylight of winter by exposing you to bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Daily exposure can suppress the brains secretion of melatonin to help you feel more awake and alert, less drowsy and melancholy.
Light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 percent of SAD cases. However, the timing and length of exposure needed can vary according to your symptoms and circadian rhythm, so youll need guidance from your doctor or mental health professional to find the right dosage. Your doctor or therapist can also help you choose a light therapy product thats both effective and safe.
Light therapy has to be continued daily throughout the winter months to be effective. Starting light therapy before the onset of symptoms in the fall may even help prevent seasonal affective disorder.
Recommended Reading: Is Social Media Linked To Depression
Dont Be Afraid To Turn To Someone Else For Help
If your depression is more severe or not being able to get out of bed is becoming a chronic problem, dont be afraid to ask for help.
Do you live with someone? Do you have a friend or co-worker on the same work schedule as you? Dont be afraid to ask them to be a part of your routine.
If you live with someone, ask them to come in and wake you or maybe sit with you. It can be anything from making coffee in the morning or making sure youre out of bed before they leave for work.
Or reach out to a co-worker, if youre comfortable with that. Someone on the same work schedule may be able to call you when you need to get out of bed in the morning. Five minutes of encouraging wake-up chatter can put you in a better mood for the day ahead.
Most people are compassionate and open to helping. You dont have to share your entire mental health history for them to understand something is going on. Just acknowledging its a difficult time can be enough.
It can be hard to ask for help initially, so remember this: You are not a burden and those who love or care for you will likely be happy to help.
Persistent Irritability Or Mood Swings
Depression can cause us to experience outbursts and mood swings. One minute were angry, the next were crying uncontrollably or we shut down and go numb. Changes in our mood can switch in a moments notice. Sometimes these changes can be triggered by small or insignificant challenges, while other times they can come about unprovoked. If you notice a pattern of irritability or mood swings that last more than a few days, it may be linked to depression.
Being Forced To Nap Everyday
People need about eight hours of sleep a night, right? Well, that might be true for most, but people with severe depression may find it hard not to sleep all day.
Often when people with depression wake up, they dont feel rested at all. They dont feel like theyve slept. They have no energy and are still sleepy. This leads to nap after nap after nap, with no amount of sleep seeming to produce a rested feeling.
What Is Morning Depression
But while MDD can make you feel bad at any time, morning depression specifically makes you feel worse in the mornings, and that feeling usually fades over the course of the day. Not everyone who deals with MDD will experience morning depression.
Reading the news is enough to make anyone want to hide in bed for all eternity, but with morning depression, getting up can genuinely feel like lifting a giant weight. With severe emotions, fatigue, lack of desire, and sometimes physical pain, the pull to stay in bed can be incredibly strong and hard to fight.
Also Check: Percentage Of People With Depression
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.
Do You Have Morning Depression
by Patient Advocate
Many people feel more depressed and anxious in the morning hours than any other time of day. According to a study in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, diurnal mood variations — shifts in mood at different times of the day –seem to be a typical part of depression. Morning lows, afternoon slumps, or evening worsening can all occur during a single depressive episode.
Why morning depression?
It is unclear what causes diurnal mood variation but some think it has to do with a disruption to biological circadian rhythms or our body’s natural body clock. For some people it may be biologically easier to feel better later in the day.
People who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD also have a disruption of their biological circadian rhythms. A cluster of nerves in the brain located on the on the hypothalamus are responsible for our biological clock.
What affects our biological clock? Light is definitely one factor. This is why some folk feel off kilter or even depressed as the winter approaches giving us less daylight. If your biological clock is offset this can affect the secretion of melatonin which induces sleep. People with a disturbance to their body clock may suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, or have sleep problems. Disruptions to our body clock affect our mental health.
Based on my own experience, here of some my guesses as to why some people suffer from morning depression:
Recommended Reading: How To Take Saffron For Depression
I Need To Take A Mental Health Day
My first thoughts are usually, Time to put in work to keep the sickness and sadness from creeping in or I think I need to take a mental health day or I wont make it to tomorrow.’ Abe H.
Do I have to go to work? Cant I just sleep all day? Should I call in today for a mental health day?’ Rena H.
Tip : Take Steps To Deal With Stress
Whatever the time of year, too much stress can exacerbate or even trigger depression.
Figure out the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload or unsupportive relationships, and make a plan to avoid them or minimize their impact.
Practicing daily relaxation techniques can help you manage stress, reduce negative emotions such as anger and fear, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Do something you enjoy every day. While you cant force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can push yourself to do things, even when you dont feel like it. You might be surprised at how much better you feel once youre out and about. Having fun is a great stress buster, so make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be painting, playing the piano, working on your car, or simply hanging out with friends.
You May Like: Mild Depression Vs Severe Depression
Start Your Day By Doing Something That Makes You Feel Good
This relates to the previous tip. You do not have to start off just to get ready to go to work. Your job should NOT be the reason you wake up in the morning.
A while ago, when I experienced depression in the morning, I developed a new habit I biked to the lake every day and wrote a journal.
People dont even know how therapeutic writing can be. Every time I did it, I felt centered and balanced. Writing focused my thoughts and gave me clarity about many things. It also greatly lessened my morning depression until it vanished entirely.
A Sign Of Atypical Depression
Dr. Drerup says that oversleeping is a symptom in 15% of people with depression and she notes that it tends to more often be related to atypical depression.
Atypical depression is a specific type of depression in which the persons mood can improve in response to a positive event. But even though their mood may brighten, its only temporary and the root depression remains.
Often, they dont realize theyre depressed, Dr. Drerup adds. Besides oversleeping, other symptoms are increased appetite and interpersonal sensitivity, like the feeling of being rejected. And that depression feeds into other reasons sleep can be so greatly affected.
Also Check: Depression Support Groups Springfield Mo
Causes Of Seasonal Affective Disorder
While the exact causes of seasonal affective disorder are unclear, most theories attribute the disorder to the reduction of daylight hours in winter. The shorter days and reduced exposure to sunlight that occurs in winter are thought to affect the body by disrupting:
Circadian rhythms. Your bodys internal clock or sleep-wake cycle responds to changes between light and dark to regulate your sleep, mood, and appetite. The longer nights and shorter days of winter can disrupt your internal clockleaving you feeling groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times.
Production of melatonin. When its dark, your brain produces the hormone melatonin to help you sleep and then sunlight during the day triggers the brain to stop melatonin production so you feel awake and alert. During the short days and long nights of winter, however, your body may produce too much melatonin, leaving you feeling drowsy and low on energy.
Production of serotonin. The reduced sunlight of winter can lower your bodys production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. A deficit may lead to depression and adversely affect your sleep, appetite, memory, and sexual desire.
Summer of SAD
As with any form of depression, there can be many different causes and contributing factors for seasonal affective disorder. Always consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and see the lifestyle changes outlined below for help to boost your mood and manage your depression symptoms.
Whats For Breakfast Start Thinking Food
Thinking about food or your first cup of coffee can be great motivation. If your stomach starts grumbling enough while youre forcing yourself to think about eggs, bacon, and French toast, youll be more likely to pull yourself up.
This doesnt always work, though, especially if youre experiencing a loss of appetite from depression. Still, know that eating something in the morning even if its just a slice of bread will help you get up.
Plus, if you take medications in the morning, its usually a good idea to have something in your stomach.
You May Like: How To Deal With A Depressed Person
How Does Sleep Relate To Mental Health
There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.
“Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself. That’s a horrible place to be.”
Become More Vibrant During Morning Hours
Imagine what it would feel to function more efficiently and leave behind tiredness associated with morning depression.
Wouldnt it be refreshing to get up full of energy, vitality, and exhilaration? Imagine what your morning would look like when you are free of depression. Once you start your morning with happiness and joy, your entire day will match to this starting point.
No more fear of dealing with reality and daily routines. No more lack of motivation to get out of bed due to draining morning depression. From now on, all of this can change for you because you will create new and healthy conditioning!
It is time to raise your energy vibration and change the way you perceive your life. As you continue practicing, you will feel safer because you will not view the world around you as threatening.
Your lack of energy and depression will be replaced with excitement as you continuously embrace positive and empowering patterns.
This is your time to say goodbye to morning depression and finally, open your eyes with a genuine passion to start your day early.
Read Also: Major Depressive Disorder Medication List