In today’s busy world many people experience fatigue and stress. Typically, the feeling characterized by extreme tiredness and low energy follows a very emotionally or physically draining experience, like hectic work situations or personal issues.
However, it may not always be temporary or circumstantial along with fatigue becoming a bigger issue, like depression. Fatigue occurs in over 90 percent of people living with a mental health condition, according to the 2018 census. Other signs which indicate depression include low moods, withdrawal and concentration issues.
For someone to be diagnosed with depression, not just general tiredness, “several of these symptoms need to be present most days, for most of the day, for at least two weeks,” said Don Mordecai, a psychiatrist and the national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente.
One of the main reasons depression and debilitating fatigue go hand and hand is because “depression affects neurotransmitters associated with alertness and the reward system,” Mordecai explained, which means that the illness mentally has an impact on peoples energy levels.
Additionally, depression negatively affects sleep “whether it’s difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up too early or just not sleeping as deeply,” claims Sari Chait, a clinical psychologist located in Massachusetts.
She also explained that depression also takes a toll on motivation making it physically and emotionally draining to carry out an everyday task. Easy things like getting dressed for work, buying groceries or saying hi to someone can feel like a massive hurdle for someone suffering from depression. Also, depression is known to cause brain fog, meaning someone one who is depressed has to exhaust more energy to make decisions or focus on simple but important things.
Relationships between depression and fatigue can become cyclical, “People with depression who push themselves to get through their day can, in turn, experience more fatigue, which can then make them feel even more depressed, and the cycle keeps going,” Chait said.
“People with depression who push themselves to get through their day can, in turn, experience more fatigue, which can then make them feel even more depressed, and the cycle keeps going.”
The most important thing to understand is it is “more likely to be a possible symptom of depression rather than a cause,” Mordecai said. Though, being lethargic due to chronic stress, chronic illness or a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or insomnia could make people more suspectable to depression.
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Author: Mckenzie Santa Maria
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