Depression, a common mental health condition affecting millions of people worldwide, is often accompanied by an overwhelming sense of fatigue and exhaustion. While feeling tired from time to time is a normal part of life, the fatigue associated with depression goes beyond temporary tiredness. Answering the question, ‘Why does depression make you tired?’ involves understanding the complex relationship between emotional well-being, physical factors, and the chemical imbalances that occur when experiencing depression.
In this article, we will discuss what depression is, the symptoms and causes of depression, explore why depression makes you tired, and look into ways to combat fatigue from depression.
What is Depression?
Depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder that negatively affects your life. Depression can cause feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.2 million adults suffered from a serious mental illness, including depression, in the past year. While there is no cure for depression, there are ways to treat the symptoms of depression to help individuals live a better life.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can have a huge impact on your life. It can lead to many emotional and physical problems arising due to a decrease in the ability to function normally at work or at home. Because of this, it’s essential to understand the symptoms of depression to ensure you can receive mental health treatment. Some of the most common symptoms of depression are:
- Feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Changes in appetite
- Lack of interest in activities
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Feelings of restlessness
- Difficulty sleeping or irregular sleep patterns
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, continue reading here to learn the signs you might need mental health treatment.
Causes of Depression
Depression is a health condition with no definitive known cause, yet it can arise due to a range of factors. It can manifest during significant medical conditions, emerge in response to life transitions, or be influenced by a family history of depression. In some instances, individuals may experience depression characterized by overwhelming sadness and loneliness without a discernible cause. Depression affects people in various ways and can be triggered by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. These factors can include:
- Physical, sexual, or mental abuse
- Major life events
- Substance abuse
Why Does Depression Make You Tired?
While there are many symptoms of depression that can cause problems in your everyday life, we will be focusing on the impacts of depression making you tired.
Depression is associated with imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters play a vital role in regulating mood and energy levels. If these neurotransmitters become disregulated, then an individual can experience feelings of fatigue and lower moods. If the dopamine levels decrease, it can result in a lack of motivation and lowered energy levels, contributing to feelings of tiredness.
As stated above, depression often disrupts sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep. Insomnia and restless sleep can leave individuals feeling unrefreshed and fatigued during the day. On the other hand, some people with depression may experience hypersomnia, sleeping excessively but still feeling tired. Disrupted sleep patterns can further contribute to the cycle of fatigue and depression.
The Difference Between Depression and Fatigue
As stated previously, depression can cause problems with sleep patterns or cause tiredness. This has been referred to as depression fatigue. While the two terms have been put together, it’s important to look at the differences between depression and fatigue to understand if you are experiencing a serious mental health condition.
- Depression: As stated above, depression is a mood disorder and involves a wide range of symptoms. Fatigue is only one symptom of depression and it’s common for individuals to experience depression and fatigue at the same time. However, depression is a mental disorder that can cause physical symptoms, while fatigue is a physical disorder.
- Fatigue: Fatigue, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a state of extreme tiredness or lack of energy. While depression can contribute to fatigue, it can be caused by a variety of factors such as physical exertion, illnesses, and lifestyle choices. Fatigue can be a short-term symptom, however, if it persists and becomes long-lasting, it may be a sign of an underlying cause.
How to Combat Fatigue From Depression
When combating fatigue from depression, it can require an approach that addresses both the depressive symptoms and the mental and physical exhaustion. There are some strategies to use to help combat fatigue. These strategies can help each person differently so it’s important to find the best approach to help you. Some strategies can include sleep, exercise, de-stressing, and medication.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep and getting good sleep is one of the easiest and simplest ways to combat fatigue. However, that can be easier said than done. By establishing a regular sleep routine and creating healthier sleep habits can ensure better sleep quality.
- Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to boost mood and energy levels. By exercising regularly, you can combat the low energy from fatigue and create healthier sleep patterns.
- De-stress: Chronic stress can exacerbate fatigue and lead to a lack of sleep. By incorporating stress management techniques to de-stress, you can lessen the side effects of fatigue. Some techniques you can use are prioritizing self-care, meditation, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.
- Medication: If fatigue and depression are affecting your daily functioning, it may be time to seek out help from a mental health professional. If you are receiving treatment for depression and are on antidepressant medication, these medications can cause fatigue. While a professional can determine if the fatigue is caused by a medical condition or depression, you may need to switch medication.
To learn how to build mental health skills, read more here.
Mental Health Treatment at Launch Centers
Suffering from depression can be debilitating, especially if you do not have the energy to properly help yourself. This is why it’s important to reach out to treatment centers to receive the proper treatment and support you need to live a happier life.
At Launch Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we offer mental health treatment services and dual diagnosis services to those experiencing mental illness. Our team of highly skilled medical professionals are trained to treat multiple different mental health conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorder, and more. We understand that every person is different and that they need different levels of care, that’s why our treatment plans are tailored to each individual to ensure the best care possible.
If you or a loved one are suffering from any mental health disorders, contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs. Launch Centers is dedicated to guiding you on a path to wellness.