Why Does Depression Make you Tired: Learn About the 4 Reasons

why does depression make you tired? 4 reasons why

Depression Meaning

Depression is a mental health disorder identified by feelings of sadness, tiredness, and a loss of interest in everyday activities. It also causes physical symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and fatigue, as well as difficulties in concentrating, making decisions, and performing daily tasks. Depression is a treatable condition, and effective treatments include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

While everyone experiences feelings of sadness or “the blues” from time to time, depression is different in that it can persist for long periods, often interfering with the capacity of a person to go about their regular lives and have fun. However, alterations in brain neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are probably linked to depression.

Energy levels decline with depression, and many symptoms, such as extreme sadness and loneliness, can make the condition worse. Fatigue is a common and often debilitating symptom of depression, affecting over 90 percent of people with major depressive disorder, according to a 2018 report.

Depression can interfere with a person’s ability to fall asleep leading to exhaustion and fatigue during the day. This causes poor sleep quality and disrupts a person’s life. People with depression frequently experience problems getting asleep, staying asleep, or both.

How Depression Affects Physical and Mental Health

Physical health:

-Decreased energy and fatigue

-Changes in appetite and weight

-Sleep disturbances

-Physical aches and pains

-Decreased sex drive

-Everyday tiredness

Mental health:

-Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness

– Loss of interest in once-favorite activities

-Decreased ability to concentrate, make decisions, and remember things

-Suicidal thoughts or actions

-Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure)

Depression can also affect daily functioning, work performance, and relationships, and can lead to social isolation, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders. Clinical depression also causes trouble falling asleep further triggering sleep disorders. It is therefore vital to seek treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of depression.

usman yousaf 8dvyPDYa35Q unsplash
Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Why Does Depression Make You Tired

1) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is a condition characterized by long-term, persistent fatigue and a range of symptoms including weakness, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, and cognitive problems.

The exact cause of CFS is unknown and there is no specific cure for the condition, but treatment may involve managing symptoms with lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and depression can often occur together, as individuals with CFS may experience depression as a result of their persistent fatigue and other symptoms. The main distinction between depression and fatigue is that the former is predominantly a mental health disease while the latter is mostly a physical illness.

Despite this, the two frequently overlap. Symptoms of depression may include a Lack of motivation and disinterest in activities you once enjoyed Constant feelings of emptiness, sadness, or anxiety Feelings of worthlessness.

Depression can make you feel tired both mentally and physically. It can be difficult to concentrate on tasks, making you feel exhausted and drained of energy. Your sleep patterns may be affected, leaving you feeling tired throughout the day. Depression can also cause physical exhaustion as it takes more energy and effort to do everyday activities.

Depression can make you feel tired for several reasons. It can cause your body to release hormones like cortisol that can make you feel fatigued and drained. It can also lead to insomnia, which can further contribute to feelings of tiredness. Additionally, the emotional toll of depression can wear you down, making it difficult to find the energy to do even the simplest of tasks.

2) Sleep Apnea:

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. This can result in disrupted sleep and can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches, and decreased mental alertness.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea are the two basic subtypes of sleep apnea. Changes in way of life, breathing apparatuses, and in extreme circumstances, surgery is all possible forms of treatment. Sleep disturbance is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder as well as many other mental diseases.

3) Major Depressive Disorder

MDD is a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, and decreased energy, which can interfere with daily activities and relationships.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and insomnia, or difficulty sleeping, often go hand in hand. Sleeplessness can be a symptom of depression and can exacerbate depression symptoms, creating a vicious cycle. On the other hand, lack of sleep can also cause or trigger depression in some individuals.

Depression fatigue is a common symptom experienced by individuals with depression, characterized by a lack of energy and motivation.

Depression can lead to decreased energy levels and fatigue as a result of its symptoms and the psychological and physical impact it has on a person’s well-being. This can make it difficult for a person to carry out daily activities and can further contribute to their depression. Treatment, such as therapy and medication, can help alleviate these symptoms and improve energy levels.

Depression can affect the levels and balance of these neurotransmitters, leading to symptoms such as fatigue. This is why treatment for depression often involves correcting the balance of these neurotransmitters through the use of medications or other therapies.

4) Effect on Diet:

A healthy diet and adequate nutrient intake are important for maintaining energy levels and combating fatigue. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to support overall health and energy levels.

However, depression can negatively impact a person’s eating habits and make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Depression can lead to changes in appetite, such as decreased appetite or overeating, which can result in either insufficient calorie and nutrient intake or weight gain. Additionally, depression can decrease motivation and energy levels, making it difficult to prepare healthy meals and snacks.

It’s important to address both depression and dietary habits as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for fatigue. Consulting a healthcare provider, dietitian, or mental health professional can help to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses both physical and mental health concerns. It would help in improving the mental health of the diagnosed person.

These points answer the question of why one feels tired when depressed.

How Can You Determine if  You’re Merely Tired or Depressed?

Fatigue is characterized by a lack of physical energy, while depression is characterized by a lack of motivation and pleasure in activities. People with fatigue may still have the desire to engage in activities, but feel physically unable to do so, while people with depression may have a decreased interest in activities, even if they have the physical energy to participate.

The duration of the low mood and whether it improves with sleep are important considerations in differentiating between fatigue and depression. It causes low motivation to take initiative. Low motivation, low energy, and chronic exhaustion are characteristics that both depression and fatigue share.

Depression and fatigue are commonly linked with similar symptoms. Fatigue typically improves with adequate rest and sleep, while depression typically persists, even with rest and sleep.

The low mood associated with depression is often persistent, lasting for weeks or months, while fatigue is usually short-lived and related to specific circumstances, such as physical overexertion, or stress. A single good night’s sleep can improve a tired person’s mood. Better sleep helps in regulating energy levels.

Effects of Fatigue:

A) Fatigue can make it more challenging for individuals to navigate the confusing thoughts and feelings that are part of depression. When someone is fatigued, their ability to think, process information, and make decisions can be impaired.

This can make it difficult for them to cope with the symptoms of depression, such as negative thoughts and feelings, and can lead to a sense of overwhelm. Fatigue can also make it harder for individuals to engage in self-care and other activities that can help alleviate their depression, such as exercise, socializing, and therapy. This can further exacerbate their depression and create a vicious cycle.

B) Fatigue can make it more difficult to form and maintain emotional connections with others. When someone is fatigued, they may have less energy and motivation to engage in social activities and may struggle to be present and attentive in their interactions with others. This can make it harder for them to form close bonds and emotional connections with friends, family, and others.

In addition, fatigue can also increase irritability and make it easier for individuals to become frustrated and snap at those around them, which can damage relationships and further exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

If you’re struggling with prolonged fatigue due to depression, your doctor can help determine the underlying cause of your fatigue and develop a treatment plan that treats depression. That work could be tough for those who suffer from severe depression because they frequently have issues getting asleep, remaining asleep, or both.

Stressful life events like a loved one’s death, a breakup, or a job loss can start or exacerbate depression symptoms in some people. In addition to medical treatment, your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to improve your symptoms. This may include improving your sleep habits, increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in stress-management techniques.

It’s important to address fatigue as a symptom of depression and not to ignore it. Prolonged fatigue can have a significant impact on daily life, including withdrawal from social and work commitments, and it can also lead to additional health problems if left untreated.

Causes of depression-related fatigue:

fernando cferdophotography 6x2iKGi6SPU unsplash 1 1
Photo by Fernando @cferdophotography on Unsplash

Depression-related fatigue is caused by several factors, including:

1) Chemical changes in the brain: Depression can affect the levels and balance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate energy levels, sleep, appetite, and mood.

2) Sleep disturbance: Depression can cause changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or hypersomnia, which can lead to fatigue causing difficulty falling asleep.

3) Lack of physical activity: Depression can decrease motivation and energy levels, making it difficult to engage in physical activity, which can further contribute to fatigue.

4) Chronic stress: Depression can increase stress levels, which can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.

5) Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, and chronic fatigue syndrome, can mimic depression symptoms, including fatigue.

6) Medications: Certain medications, such as anti-anxiety medications, can cause fatigue as a side effect.

It’s important to understand that depression-related fatigue can be complex and can result from a combination of these factors. The onset and maintenance of depression may be significantly influenced by an inability to control stress. Not following a sleep routine is linked with hypertension and other poor health outcomes.

Some Strategies to Help Improve the Quality of Sleep for People with Depression:

ben blennerhassett L7JGC bgWyU unsplash 1
Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

1) Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

2) Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Do something calming before bed, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath, to help you wind down and prepare for sleep.

3) Limit exposure to screens: Avoid using electronic devices such as phones, computers, and televisions for at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light from these devices can interfere with sleep.

4) Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help regulate sleep patterns and improve the quality of sleep. Physical activity is vital.

5) Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: These substances can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to avoid them in the hours leading up to bedtime.

6) Practice good sleep hygiene: Make sure your sleeping environment is dark, quiet, and cool, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows to help you get the best sleep possible.

7) Seek treatment for depression: Treating depression from a mental health professional can improve sleep and reduce symptoms of fatigue. If your doctor believes that you have depression, they’ll probably refer you for an evaluation with a mental health expert.

8) Mental health resources are widely available these days, they help to manage depression fatigue. Some apps help you to fall asleep faster. Music helps in regulating mood.

Well, did you get your answer? I hope you did. If you want to know more about depression, its symptoms, or any related query, feel free to let us know.



As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.
Available for Amazon Prime