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Why does depression make you tired?

Depression is not just a temporary state of sadness that passes after a few days. More Africans are disabled by this illness than by HIV/AIDS, cancer, or heart disease. While some people may ever experience depression once, others may do it several times.


What are the causes of tiredness during depression?

Sleep deprivation

Because they aren’t getting enough sleep, people with depression frequently feel exhausted. Additionally, insomnia is a fairly prevalent complication for those who suffer from depression .This can be the result of your having depressive thoughts as you sleep at night. Another potential factor is sleep apnea. A dangerous condition is sleep apnea. Both hypersomnia and insomnia are typical signs of depression. But insomnia can exacerbate depression as well.

Inadequate exercise

Additionally, it may be challenging for depressed individuals to muster the motivation to exercise. However, a lack of exercise has been linked to increased tiredness [4], meaning that the less you exercise, the more fatigued you become.

It is complicated as to why depressed individuals are less prone to exercise. It’s frequently connected to motivation because it’s challenging to feel motivated to exercise when you feel like giving up on everything. Another Catch-22 situation involves exhaustion and exercise. You are more prone to feel fatigued the less active you are. However, you feel less motivated to exercise the more exhausted you are.

Side effects of medication

Medication use, which is common among depression sufferers, may also be a factor in their exhaustion. This involves using antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs to address the actual depression. However, drugs for other medical disorders that are closely related to depression may also be a factor.

One of the primary negative effects of antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is sleepiness. [5] If you’ve only recently started taking medicine, you can feel particularly exhausted. You can feel even more exhausted if you already take anxiety medicine.

Insufficient Diet

Diet and weariness are closely related. Healthy energy levels throughout the day are more likely in people who follow a balanced diet. Fatigue may also result from deficits in certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron or vitamin D.

Excessive usage of Drugs and Alcohol

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is twice as likely to occur in depressed persons as it is in healthy individuals.  In these situations, in addition to the depression itself, it may be the medications that are making them fatigued.  Although it may initially aid in sleep, alcohol actually alters the sleep-wake cycle over time.

Anxiety and Tension

Many people struggle with both anxiety and despair because of their close connections. Anxiety symptoms are present in up to 70% of persons who concurrently have depression.  Being constantly stressed and anxious can be draining.


The body’s ongoing low-grade inflammation has been connected in scientific studies to many types of weariness.  The body’s ongoing low-grade inflammation has been connected in scientific studies to many types of weariness. This might help to partially explain the biochemical connection between weariness and depression.


How to distinguish between tiredness and depression

Low energy, low motivation, and anhedonia, or a loss of interest in enjoyable activities, are indicators of both depression and weariness, according to Dimitriu.  According to him, one identifying characteristic is the desire to engage in activities. The length of the depressed state and whether it gets better with sleep are other crucial factors, according to Dimitriu. He adds that a single restful night’s sleep can lift someone who is down in the dumps. But according to Ricke, weariness brought on by sadness affects all aspects of a person’s life. It has this impact:

Physically: Routine activities like eating, taking a shower, getting dressed, and so forth could become challenging. Depression can make the body feel heavy, sluggish, and rigid, according to Ricke.

Cognitively: According to Ricke, depression can make it harder for you to focus, concentrate, and process information.

Here, the impacts could be most severe emotionally. Ricke claims that fatigue makes it harder to sort through the depression’s already perplexing thoughts and feelings. According to Ricke, this might then “perpetuate feelings of isolation and hopelessness.”  Your capacity for sleep is also impacted by depression. That task could be difficult for depressed individuals.

According to Dimitriu, people with depression frequently struggle to get sleep, stay asleep, or both.  The final outcome? Sleep seems “less restful and restorative,” according to Ricke.  Additionally, according to Ricke, those who are depressed may exhibit “maladaptive behaviors that contribute to poor sleep.”

As noted by Dimitriu and Ricke, maintaining an active lifestyle may be challenging for someone who suffers from depression, but fighting the urge to curl up on the couch can have a big impact.


Why do you feel sleepier while in depression?

A person’s likelihood of having a depressive disorder might be impacted by stressful life events. Inflammation brought on by stress might result in hypersomnia and weariness.

Sleeping can be a coping mechanism for persons who experience feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt. Instead of dealing with the issue head-on, using sleep as a coping mechanism frequently for feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt could be viewed as problematic.

Energy expended overthinking usually, when we feel unhappy, it’s because something in our reality isn’t turning out the way we wanted it to.

Having said that, it’s possible that your weariness is what’s making you feel depressed. If left untreated, your fatigue may eventually turn into a depressive condition.


Why do you feel tired in Depression?

It’s not usually depression that results in chronic weariness and trouble sleeping.

The following are groups of symptoms linked to other medical conditions that might result in hormone surges or overstimulation, both of which can make one feel exhausted. For instance:

  • Hypervigilance, excessive worrying, and a state of elevated bodily and mental alertness can all be symptoms of anxiety disorders. When this feeling fades, weariness may begin to set in.
  • Hyperactivity and extended periods of high energy can be symptoms of ADHD. This state will pass, just like hypervigilance, and frequently leaves the ADHD sufferer weary.
  • The way someone’s senses function may be impacted by neurodivergent disorders like autism spectrum disorder and others.
  • Manic and hypomanic states, which are known to have a profound impact on someone’s vitality, can be brought on by bipolar illnesses.
  • A person’s vitality can be quickly depleted by dysfunctional, repeated behaviors brought on by eating disorders or OCD-related compulsions and obsessions.

How to know if someone is tired or depressed?

Today’s population experiences fatigue on such a regular basis that it might essentially be considered an inevitable consequence of adulthood. In America, more than 60% of adults claim to feel exhausted occasionally. You should discuss the potential causes of your fatigue with your healthcare physician if it persists. People typically experience additional depressive symptoms along with their weariness when depression is the underlying cause.

The following are the primary signs of depression in addition to fatigue:

  • Almost perpetually depressed, empty, or agitated
  • A sense of helplessness
  • Feelings of remorse and worthlessness
  • Sleep disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia) Problems concentrating and focusing
  • Alterations in appetite that may result in weight loss or increase
  • Unaccounted for aches and discomfort
  • Persistent suicidal or dead thoughts
  • It’s essential to discuss the potential causes of your exhaustion with your doctor


How to manage depression-related tiredness

Fortunately, there are lifestyle adjustments you may make to perhaps lessen the level of depression-related fatigue you experience. Here are a few examples.

Get some rest

Making changes to your sleeping habits is one of the finest things you can do to reduce weariness. To increase your chances of enjoying a restful night’s sleep, make sure you practice excellent sleep hygiene. You might be more inclined to wake up with more energy when you get good sleep.


Exercise is a terrific strategy to boost your energy levels and reduce the symptoms of depression. Exercise has been shown to considerably improve mood in studies.

Ingest nutrient-dense foods

Try to consume a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients even if your depression makes you lose your appetite (or eat “comfort foods” that might not be healthy). Specifically, consume things like:

  • veggies and fruit
  • Salmon and other fatty fish
  • Yogurt Eggs
  • stout chocolate
  • oats and lentils
  • You can feel more energized after using them

Don’t have too much alcohol

You could think that alcohol and other drugs alleviate the symptoms of depression. In actuality, though, these drugs keep you caught in a vicious loop. Additionally, you run the chance of developing a substance use disorder, which can exacerbate depression.

Seek out mental health care

After attempting these methods, if you’re still feeling worn out, it might be time to get help for depression from a mental health professional. Therapy and other holistic approaches to mental health care can directly address your depression.


When to need expert assistance for depression

Depression is something we can combat at our own. By altering what we do, say, and think, we can enhance feel-good chemicals and reduce stress chemicals to improve our mood.  Controlling our actions is simpler than controlling our thoughts.  We are not powerless, yet it is almost impossible to just “think” oneself out of despair.

Check out Hope for Healing’s free ebooks, articles, videos, and audio programs to learn how to deal with depression.  These resources offer a wide range of straightforward actions that raise “feel good” hormones and lower “stress” hormones.

It needs consistency; it won’t be a “one and done” situation to sustain that healthy body chemistry.  Your body chemistry will progressively improve by constantly implementing these easy action actions, bringing it into a happier equilibrium.  Being very exhausted should serve as a red flag that a chemical imbalance in the brain requires treatment from a mental health specialist.



Many illnesses have a close connection to depression. For instance, those who suffer from cancer, MS , or migraines  are more likely to have depression than the overall population. Tiredness may also result from any of these issues. To put it another way, depression, and exhaustion might be caused by the same third factor—another medical issue.


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