According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, one definition for depression is as follows: “Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.” The good news? Many of its symptoms can be treated.
Manage Depression Without Medicine
- Stay active and exercise.
- Set achievable goals.
- Don’t self-isolate. Disclose your depression to a trusted loved one.
- Don’t be afraid to let others help when they can.
- Your mood may improve slowly, not instantly.
- Hold off on big decisions, like marriage or divorce, or starting a new job until feeling better. Talk to people who know you well and allow their objectivity to help your situation.
- Continue to learn about depression.
What About Complications?
Though its symptoms can be treated, depression can result in many complications if left untreated:
- You could suffer from excessive weight or obesity, which may result in heart disease and diabetes
- Pain or physical disease
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Nervousness, panic disorder, or social anxiety
- Family problems, relationship troubles, and work or school issues
- You may resort to social isolation
- Suicidal attitudes, suicide attempts, or suicide
- Self-harm, like cutting yourself
- Untimely death from medical situations
Why Does Depression Make You Tired?
If you knew the answer to this question, you could solve a huge problem for millions — depression and fatigue are inexplicably linked. Depression may cause exhaustion, but it messes with sleep cycles, eating, and exercise – facets of our lives that can sap our energy even under the best conditions. The bottom line is that depression can make you feel tired in many different ways.
It can make it harder to sleep.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder related to depression, affecting about 75 percent of adults who’ve been diagnosed with depression.
But there’s more at work causing overtiredness than just lack of sleep. If you oversleep, you can experience many of the same feelings of tiredness over time.
It can change your eating habits.
If you’re depressed, you may not realize it, but low moods and other symptoms can trigger loss of appetite, force you to skip meals, or instill in you an overwhelming craving for sweets and foods with less nutritional value. And, yes, mass quantities of sugary or fatty foods can make you feel dizzy and tired.
It can disrupt your exercise or workout routines.
Exercise is a terrific supply of energy, but depressive feelings can make it tougher for you to convince yourself to work out regularly. If you’re depressed, you may have a sudden lack of enthusiasm for many facets of life, and this can materialize as less desire to exercise.
It can lead to widespread stress in your life.
Mental illness represents a vicious circle that can be physically and emotionally draining. Depression can increase chronic stress, which in turn leads back to depression. Regardless of which one happens initially, they’re intertwined, resulting in a reverse flow of energy and exhaustion. If you can’t learn to manage stress, you may develop symptoms like tiredness which eventually lead to depression.
Finally, reducing pleasurable activities can boost fatigue and lower motivation. Another vicious circle: depression robs you of participating in fun activities and reduces motivation, and lack of participation leads to depression.
Diagnosis & Treatment
If you’re depressed, your first step in finding treatment that works is getting diagnosed by a medical doctor or qualified mental health specialist. A doctor may perform a physical examination and run blood tests or other diagnostic procedures, all with the goal of finding an underlying cause for your symptoms. A psychiatric evaluation looks at your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and your personal and family history of mental illness as depression triggers. An important tool in diagnosis is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.
Treatment may involve different types of therapy, antidepressants, or ketamine infusion therapy.
Almost 300 million people worldwide have depression, and though it’s a leading cause of disability, it doesn’t have to ruin your life. If you’re depressed, make an appointment with a doctor or therapist for a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, you can start on a treatment plan to help you get better. Contact us today to learn more.