Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tired All The Time But Not Depressed

How To Tell If You Are Depressed Or Just Tired

#Tired All The Time? | What Causes #Fatigue?

With both depression and fatigue, symptoms include low energy, low motivation, and anhedonia, or a loss of interest in pleasurable activities, Dimitriu says.

One distinguishing factor can be the desire to engage in activities people who have fatigue wish to do things, but lack energy, whereas people with depression have lower interest in activities, he says.

“Another important consideration is the duration of the low mood and if it improves with sleep,” Dimitriu says. A single good night’s sleep can improve a tired person’s mood, he notes.

But depression-related fatigue permeates every facet of a person’s life, says Ricke. The effect is felt:

  • Physically: Everyday tasks eating, showering, getting dressed, and so on may become difficult. “The body can feel heavy, slow, and stiff due to depression,” Ricke says.
  • Cognitively: Due to depression, you may experience “difficulty sustaining focus, concentrating, and processing information,” Ricke says. Of course, lack of sleep can have a similar cognitive impact, making it challenging to concentrate.
  • Emotionally: Here is where the effects may be most profound. “Fatigue makes it more difficult to weed through the already confusing thoughts and feelings that are part of depression,” Ricke says. Forming emotional connections with friends, family, and the people around you may be more challenging when you’re fatigued, she says. And that, in turn, “can perpetuate feelings of aloneness and hopelessness,” Ricke says.

Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.

Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling empty
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Aches and pains without clear physical causes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.

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 doesn’t work properly, it throws your hormones out of whack. This could be one of the many reasons you’re always tired.

If you have an underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, it means your body isn’t getting enough thyroid hormones, and your cells don’t 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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How Common Is Exhaustion In Ocd

Is it common for people with OCD to feel exhausted? While few statistics answer this question, one 2015 study found a correlation between fatigue, including mental fatigue, and OCD.

People with OCD often report feeling exhausted, particularly when dealing with symptoms before bedtime or when compulsions interfere with simple daily tasks.

Having OCD can be mentally taxing. Near-constant disturbing thoughts are often exhausting, especially if you havent started a treatment plan.

Similarly, carrying out compulsions which can take hours a day can exhaust you mentally and physically.

Feeling tired from time to time is common. However, its a good idea to seek medical help if youre constantly experiencing exhaustion and fatigue.

Some signs that youre exhausted can include:

  • feelings of tiredness during the day
  • difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • losing interest
  • irritability

If youre experiencing the above symptoms and are unsure whats causing them, you might benefit from speaking with a doctor.

Its Harder To Exercise When Youre Depressed

I hate being stressed, depressed, and tired all the time.

Exercise is a great source of energy, but feelings of depression might make it harder for you to want to work out on a regular basis. Depression can cause you to experience a lack of motivation in many aspects of life, and this can channel into a lack of desire to exercise.

But dont think that this lack of exercise is because of laziness. This couldnt be further from the truth!

Summoning the motivation to exercise is already hard enough. But feelings like reduced self-esteem and pessimism are specific depressive attitudes that research suggests may be interfering with your exercise.

Its completely understandable that you might not be working out as much as you used to or would like to. Recognizing that these thought patterns are a result of depression means youre better equipped to deal with the challenge of motivating yourself to exercise.

Read Also: Can You Cure Depression On Your Own

Aim To Exercise More And Start Small If You Need To

Though depressive attitudes may make it harder to work out, implementing an exercise routine thats realistic and attainable in your everyday life can ease depression fatigue.

Exercise has the added benefit of improving your sleep, too.

Its OK to start small even just walking for 30 minutes a day will likely boost your energy and mood. Exercise is truly an organic and reliable way to help address your depression fatigue.

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

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How To Read Your Bodys Signals

Healthline spoke with Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist, sleep expert, and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine Center on understanding the differences between sleep deprivation and depression.

Sleep is the tip of the iceberg for our minds state, Dimitriu explains. People find it much easier to notice sleep is off because it is objective, thus it truly opens the door to investigating if something else is wrong.

The main symptom of sleep deprivation, which seems obvious, is daytime sleepiness. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • increased appetite
  • feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or both
  • thoughts of suicide

The line between depression and sleep deprivation can blur, depending on what youre feeling and experiencing. Dimitriu often poses a question to the clients he works with that can get to the root of the problem, and it has to do with a persons motivation.

I often ask my patients if they have the desire to do things but lack the energy, or if they simply are not interested in the first place, Dimitriu says. Depressed people are more likely to say they simply dont care to do various activities, even pleasurable ones. Tired people often still have an interest to do things.

Where Can I Go For Help

6 Reasons Why You’re Tired All The Time

If you are unsure of where to go for help, ask your family doctor or health care provider. You can also find resources online including the NIMH website at, or check with your insurance carrier to find someone who participates in your plan. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.

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Youre Tired Because You Have Sleep Apnea

If you have sleep apnea, your throat starts to close when youre asleep, which is why people with the condition tend to snore. Not getting enough oxygen sounds scary, but your brain wont let you suffocate. The brain notices youre not getting rid of your CO2, and it wakes up really briefly in an alarmed state, Lisa Shives, MD, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, tells WebMD. Good for your breathing, but bad for your tiredness levels. Even though you keep waking up, those wakeful moments are too short for you to notice, so you wont get why youre so exhausted the next day.

Discover how to fall asleep fast with natural sleep aids.

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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What Are The Causes Of Depression

Experts say that depression is caused by an interaction of genetic factors and real life triggers. Because depression often runs in families, experts believe that genetic factors make some people more vulnerable to than others, because of their individual brain chemistry.

Depression triggers can include:

* Situational factors: Major problems and life crises — a romantic break-up, job loss, or the death of a loved one, for example — are often the immediate, most obvious causes of depression. But ongoing life challenges like poverty, unemployment, and social isolation, as well as childhood trauma, also put people at higher risk for depression.

* Medical factors:Chronic pain or illness can lead to depression. Certain medical conditions — including hypothyroidism, cancer, and hepatitis — can cause depression. Nutritional deficiencies and some medications are culprits as well. Therefore, it’s important that treatment for depression include a medical evaluation.

* Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression, a discrepancy likely due in part to the tremendous hormonal shifts that accompany menstruation, child birth, and menopause.

* Stress: A connection between chronic stress and depression has been established and could explain why stressful life situations, like poverty and unemployment, put people at far higher risk for depression.

Treatment for Depression

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Too Much Focusing Is Draining Here’s A Better Strategy


If these diversions aren’t working for you now, she recommends trying a change of scenery if you can.

For Payne, who lives in Baltimore, that meant staying at her parents’ home in West Virginia for three nights.

“It was not a very exciting trip, but we got away and it was a completely different environment. And I didn’t have any projects around the house that I could do other than reading or listening to a podcast, sleeping, eating,” Payne says. “And that was really, really renewing for me.”

However, Cyrus, who is also at Johns Hopkins, says some of her patients say their normal coping strategies aren’t working.

That’s because we are running on an emptier gas tank than usual, she says. “Your coping strategies that might be able to refill you a certain percent, you’re starting lower. So it’s not quite getting you where you need to be.”

If that’s the case for you, try changing up your routine, Payne says. “If you’re walking every day and that’s no longer helping, you try biking.”

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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, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.

Infections that may cause fatigue include:

  • Flu

Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression

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 people’s lives.

With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s 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.


Food Allergies Food Intolerance And Fatigue

Symptoms: Fatigue, sleepiness, continued exhaustion

Although food is supposed to give you energy, medical research suggests that hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. In fact, fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance or food allergy. Celiac disease, which happens when you cant digest gluten, may also cause fatigue.

Ask your doctor about the elimination diet. This is a diet in which you cut out certain foods linked to a variety of symptoms, including sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them, for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test — or invest in a home test such as ALCAT — which may help you identify the offending foods.

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Pilgrimage Of Desire: A Path Out Of Walking Depression

My lifes work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.

One of the ways I do that is by sharing my own story of depression and recovery in a memoir called Pilgrimage of Desire. The book is interspersed with coaching questions and exercises, which help readers take their own steps toward happiness.

As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.

Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.

I found the path out of depression by following my desiresto write, to travel, to become a mother and a creativity coach. Eventually I left ordinary life behind. My husband quit his job and we sold our house and headed out on a trip around the world with our kids, aged five and three. I thought Id found my happy ending, but there was more to the story

Do these signs ring true for you? Have you ever been depressed and kept on walking?

I invite you to share your own experiences in the comments. When you do, please be kind to yourself and others. Kindness is the watchword. To keep this space safe and helpful, I remove comments that are unkind or invalidate other peoples experience of depression.

UPDATE: A video for those who responded to this article when it was first posted in March 2012.

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  • You’re Not Eating Enough Carbs

    Why am I Tired all the time? Avoid These 6 Energy Vampires

    Drastically cutting carbs is a common fad diet people turn to when they’re looking to lose weight quickly. After all, each gram of carb holds on to about one gram of water, so when people cut carbs they also lose water weight and think they’re losing fat. However, carbs are essential for energy. White says one of the biggest mistakes he sees people make when trying to lose weight is they eliminate carbs and therefore have no energy to make it through the day, let alone hit the gym.

    But not all carbs are created equal. You should be getting your carbohydrates from complex sources, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, White recommends carbs still make up 45-65 percent of your daily calorie intake. That’s somewhere between 100 and 200 grams, depending on your caloric needs. Otherwise, you could find yourself feeling tired, sluggish, and irritable.

    Read Also: I Feel So Empty And Depressed

    Diet And Vitamin Deficiencies

    What you eat can really impact your energy levels. Similar to an iron deficiency, a vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anemia and fatigue. Vegans and vegetarians are especially prone to B12 deficiencies since animal products are a main source of B12.

    The following nutrients also play a role in physical and mental energy:

    Eating a varied diet with plenty of minerals and vitamins should help, but your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you choose supplements to fill in any gaps.

    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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