Are you depressed or a just tired? A question we have to ask ourselves when certain habits begin to form in our day-to-day lives. This post will help you discern whether the rest you seek is “normal” or indicative of a more serious problem.
[Note: As a follow-up to my last post and with the recent media attention that mental health issues are getting I thought now would be a good time to discuss this topic.]
A hungover wakeup coupled with fatigue and grogginess even though no alcohol was consumed. Needing, not just wanting, to lay down during the day and napping for hours on end. Laying in bed at night, the clock ticking, not being able to fall asleep despite how exhausted you are. Unmotivated to do anything, let alone work, socialize, or practice self-care.
Have you experienced any of this?
The average person has probably felt something similar to these occurrences at one point or another in their life. But when these types of situations start occurring more regularly and consistently, when is it time to attribute them to more than just “being tired“? When is it time to consider that these feelings might be related to or stem from underlying depression?
As someone who struggles with depression, I often have to check in with myself and decipher whether I am truly in a depressive state or just in need of some downtime and rest. This is how I usually test myself…
If I wake up in the morning with that overwhelming feeling of fatigue and like I could just stay in bed all day, I force myself to get up. I tell myself that if I get up and start my day and an hour later still feel the same way, then I really am physically (not just mentally) tired and need rest. On the other hand, if I get up, start my day, and begin feeling better about everything, then I know what I was feeling was really caused by depression, not actual physical tiredness.
Does that make sense?
Basically, my depression can disguise itself as overwhelming tiredness and fatigue. I can prove to myself that those feelings are false by pushing through them and forging on anyways. However, sometimes I soon realize that those feelings are real and valid and thus honor them.
I always feel like I am walking a fine line between honoring my bodies needs and giving into crippling depressive symptoms. Because that’s the thing. Depression CAN be debilitating if you let it. And that’s why, to me, it is so important to be able to distinguish between tiredness and an actual depressive episode.
[the memes are just for fun and to lighten things up…obviously this is a very serious topic.]
Obviously, I am not a medical professional in this field, but I have worked with a number of psychiatric professionals and also reached out to one I know personally to get their take on this topic. She told me that typically for diagnosing depression, doctors ask something similar to the following questions:
- In the past month or so, have your day-to-day life activities been hindered by feelings of sadness or hopelessness?
- In the past month or so, have you been apathetic towards activities that usually bring you joy and/or pleasure? Has your interest in these activities lessened? Do you no longer look forward to things that usually make you smile?
Of course, these are just baseline screening questions, but even “yes” responses to these basic questions can throw up red flags. My friend also reaffirmed that changes in sleeping habits, either less or more than normal, can indicate depression. She noted that depression can manifest itself differently for everyone but it is not unusual for some to feel overly tired, fatigued, unmotivated, or have the desire to sleep for long stretches during normal waking hours.
Now, don’t get ahead of yourself after reading this post. I know that some people have hypochondriac tendencies or are very impressionable when it comes to learning about medical diagnoses. Like I said to begin with, we are all HUMAN. We all experience tiredness, fatigue, and lack of motivation sometimes. (maybe suggesting it’s time for a Mental Health Day?) BUT, when these episodes begin changing from sometimes to all the time or at least often, it’s time to consider talking with your doctor about your symptoms. Whether you’re eventually diagnoses with depression or some other ailment, experiencing these symptoms regularly (anything more than occasionally) is not normal and warrants the attention of a medical professional.
Do not feel shame, embarrassment, or guilt about reaching out. You deserve help. Your mental health is worth fighting for. You matter.
Start the conversation today. Don’t become another unknown in the statistic of mental illness sufferers who go without proper treatment.
Do you struggle with depression?
Does your depression ever manifest as tiredness or apathy?
How do you determine whether you’re in a depressive funk or just tired?Stay connected:Subscribe to Healthy HelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperInstagram: HealthyHelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperBloglovin’: Healthy HelperGoogle+: Healthy HelperTumblr: Healthy Helper BlogSnapchat: KailaProulxWant to get FREE products for review and make money as a blogger? Check out Linqia!