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Why Does Depression Make You Tired?

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Depression is a widespread mental health issue around the globe. It can affect people of all ages and sexes without any discrimination. Almost 9.5% of American adults suffer from depression for multiple reasons. Depression is a mental illness that negatively affects mood, thought processes, and daily activities. It makes you feel worthless, unseen, insignificant, and much more. Common symptoms of depression are constantly feeling sad or losing interest in things you once liked. It is like an emotional rollercoaster that goes up and down but never stops. In this article, we will briefly discuss the general aspects of depression and everything related to it.

How does depression affect the body?

Depression is not just a brain disorder. It comes with other complications related to your brain and body. The reason is that our brain is connected to every part of our body, so if it is not in good order, it will eventually affect your whole system directly or indirectly. First of all, the GIT will be affected due to your moods. Some receptors stimulated by the brain in GIT will not function properly. Cramps, indigestion, stomach tenderness, nausea such things are experienced in a depressed mood. Even depression also disturbs your appetite. It may provoke loss of weight or gain. That is why GIT is also called our second brain. Depression can lead to irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) due to stress which results in stroke or heart attack. Headache, backache, and constantly feeling edgy are common due to depression. 

How does depression affect the mind?

Many studies are being conducted to understand the root cause of depression in humans, but it is not that simple. But, according to scientists, some underlying genetic conditions and chemical routes make their way to its trigger. Such as: Sleep cycle: sometimes, when you overwork yourself and neglect your sleeping schedule, it makes you feel tired and edgy. Your body has a natural clock and needs to be treated according to it. If you treat it otherwise, you are the one who would have to pay for the damages, which is to deal with a poorly done body and a reckless mind. If you continue to mess with your system, consequences will appear in mental disturbance and physical fatigue. And it could turn a perfectly average person into a depressed and pessimistic person quickly. And once you are in that cycle, it will be challenging to figure out whether you are depressed because of insomnia or insomniac due to depression.  Hypoxia: Rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels, such as in diabetic patients, or imbalance of blood gases, e.g., oxygen and carbon dioxide, can lead to dysfunction and death of brain cells, affecting one’s moods. But these are only metabolic reasons for hypoxia. Another reason could be that a person already suffers from mild depression symptoms. His condition worsens if he already has an underlying illness, such as asthma or cardiovascular disease.  Inflammation: inflammation is also related to depression because if there is inflammation in brain cells, there will be high levels of TNFα in the hippocampus. Which results in the person feeling depressed or anxious.    Memory loss: is also expected due to depression as a high amount of cortisol is released in depression. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. When cortisol remains in the brain for a long time, it can slow down the formation of new neurons and causes memory loss. 

How depression causes tiredness and fatigue?

In depression, continuous episodes of negative emotions come and go. The person overthinks in every situation, all of his energy is consumed by the stress, and now he is mentally and physically exhausted. Fatigue is common in depression. You feel tired and give up everything, which takes energy and enthusiasm. Depression and tiredness may have almost the same symptoms but are different clinically. Exhaustion is just due to lack of rest and could go away with proper rest and food, but depression is a clinical brain disorder requiring a clinical solution to make that person feel better again.


Depression is likely to cause an imbalance in brain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters regulate energy levels, sleep, appetite, motivation, and pleasure. Feeling seriously tired should be a warning sign that there is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that should be addressed with medical health assistance.

Sleep patterns

Depression can disturb sleeping patterns, causing fatigue during the day. It takes a depressed person longer to fall asleep than an average person. Sufficient rest is a crucial factor in managing a mental illness. If it is disturbed, then it will divert mood, behavior, and attention.

Medication and exercise

Antidepressant medications prescribed by a doctor can also result in fatigue, so discuss it with your doctor. Lack of exercise in depression is also related to fatigue and tiredness. A depressed person feels it hard to have the motivation to exercise or stay active in depression, which is linked directly to fatigue.

Diet and alcohol use

Due to loss of appetite, a depressed person will also become malnourished. His gut system is already a mess due to depression which results in improper digestion of food. All this leads to a lack of energy and weakness, which adds to his fatigue from daily activity. Depressed people tend to have more use alcohol and drugs to avoid their thoughts. Alcohol use can lead to sleepiness, but it will disturb the sleep cycle and causes morning fatigue.

How to Manage Tiredness & Exhaustion Caused by Depression

Depression is a condition that can be managed, but if you cannot cope with your symptoms, you can tackle it by adjusting things in your life and seeking help. There are several things a person can do to manage depression and fatigue.

Improving sleep cycle

  • Make a schedule for sleeping on time, and try to maintain it so it will become your habit
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, and try not to overthink, as it will keep you up all night.
  • Try to have some morning exercises to boost your mood and energy.

Eating balanced diet

  • Add more fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains to your diet
  • healthy meat
  • olive oil
  • nuts
  • green tea

Try to avoid

  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • processed meat and food
  • sugary drinks & high carbohydrate  

Talk to your doctor

Seek help from the doctor as it is the best way to deal with fatigue and depression. He will identify if the fatigue is from other health conditions or medication, then he will deal with it better. If you are feeling tired due to depression, there is an excellent method of treatment that is gaining popularity among psychiatrists and patients daily. This is known as Ketamine IV treatment for depression. In this treatment, ketamine is injected into your bloodstream via an IV line. Ketamine therapy is a customized treatment designed and explicitly administered after a complete analysis of the patient’s physical and mental health conditions. Ketamine has successfully treated depression and other mental illnesses such as anxiety, OCD, and PTSD when administered in low potency. This treatment is a safe option for TRD patients until it is provided at a certified ketamine clinic under the monitoring of an experienced practitioner.

Bottom line:

You must consult your doctor or psychiatrist if you are unsatisfied with your current treatment method. Or you can contact us for a free consultation if you are looking for a reliable ketamine clinic. At Nepenthe Wellness clinic, we provide ketamine therapy to treat treatment-resistant depression and other mental problems. It can also help patients who are suffering from chronic pains or fibromyalgia. Besides ketamine therapy, we also have a wide range of multiple IV treatments for different clinical and aesthetic purposes.