Is Fatigue A Sign of Depression?

It isn’t uncommon for those with fatigue to question if they have depression. And many who have depression constantly feel tired. So if you have fatigue does that mean you have depression? Sometimes. Both medical conditions can be connected with each other but by having one, you don’t automatically have the other.



How Does Fatigue Lead to Depression?



Those who have trouble sleeping due to work, insomnia, or sleep apnea suffer from a lack of energy during the day. As the day goes on, someone who is fatigued can become very unwilling to complete everyday tasks. The walk from the couch to the kitchen can feel like the hardest chore of the day.



When you lose your motivation to do even basic, everyday tasks, you are at risk of depression. If you already have depression, it can fuel it into a worsened state.



Diagnosis of Depression



Getting a diagnosis of depression is done by going to a primary care physician or specialist. They will talk with you for a bit to establish a medical and mental health history. From there, they will have you take an assessment that is used as a way to determine if you have depression. Using both your history and questionnaire, the doctor will decide whether or not you meet the criteria to be diagnosed with depression.



They will also run a blood test and other medical tests to determine whether something else may be causing your depression. Such as fatigue. It is important to mention to your doctor if you think your fatigue may be causing your depression.



Treating Depression Through Treating Fatigue



If fatigue is causing your depression, the majority of your treatment will be targeted at your fatigue. Diagnosing and correcting the cause of your fatigue is important. The two conditions we already mentioned, sleep apnea and insomnia are two of the most common causes of fatigue. Workplace stress is an ever-growing cause of fatigue as workplaces demand more out of their employees.



By treating the underlying condition that is causing fatigue, your depression should start to ease and go away by itself. This happens in the majority of cases.



However, sometimes the depression is immediately concerning if it presents with strong thoughts or suicidal ideation. In those cases, the depression might also need to be treated while the fatigue is treated. Doctors are typically unwilling to prescribe antidepressants for cases of fatigue fueled depression as they can make the fatigue worse.



Performing slow, meditative exercises can help you to reduce your fatigue. So can getting regular amounts of exercise throughout the day. Physical activity will also help with depression and is one of the most commonly recommended actions to combat depression.



Establishing good sleep habits is also an important step in treating depression and fatigue. It all starts with trying to go to bed at the same time every night, just like your parents tried to get you to do as a kid. Avoiding naps over 20 minutes long during the day will also help. Strenuous exercise should be avoided in the several hours before you go to bed.



Creating a place that promotes sleep is important. It should be as dark as possible and without any lights, including your phone screen. Reducing the temperature of your sleeping area will also help to promote healthy sleep. Lastly, ensure that you remove any distractions, including sounds, from your room.



When to See A Doctor



Anytime that you think you might have chronic fatigue or depression it is important to seek a doctor. Both conditions by themselves can have a serious impact on your health. With the two combined, you need to seek a doctor’s assistance. Treating both conditions will help you to live a longer and happier life.



The conditions that lay behind fatigue can also be dangerous. For example, sleep apnea can be harmful to your body. Correcting it will help to prevent long term damage to the body.



Depression and fatigue are closely linked to each other. Both of them are not fun to experience but the good news is that they are treatable. In fact, with treatment most people are able to get rid of depression caused by fatigue and the fatigue too.