Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sleep and depression.

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So VanWinkle (?) has two articles up about depression and sleep. The first talks about hypersomnia as a symptom of depression. The article quotes a Dr. Trivedi:
Hypersomnia, as well as insomnia, have been linked in the development, treatment and recurrence of depression. Sleep disturbances are also some of the most persistent symptoms in depression. Identifying these biomarkers, combined with new understanding of the important role of exercise in reducing hypersomnia, have potential implications in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
First of all, I think it's highly likely I'm living with hypersomnia. At any time during the day I can fall asleep, easily. Just let me rest my head, and I can fall asleep. I've fallen asleep while driving once in the last year, and it's a threat, and I have to keep it in the back of my mind when planning a trip or drive. I just can't seem to get enough sleep, and I could sleep most of the day away. I feel like I would need two naps a day. I'm like a fucking cat. 

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I took a look at the actual article Van Winkle (seriously guys, try harder) is sourcing, a study coming out of the South Western Medical Centre, and stopped at this bit:
People with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work, during a meal, or in conversation. They often have difficulty waking from a long sleep, and may feel disoriented upon waking, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke... Other symptoms may include anxiety, increased irritation, decreased energy, restlessness, slow thinking, slow speech, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and memory difficulty. Some patients lose the ability to function in family, social, occupational, or other settings.
Wait, are you all up in my life? I can't nap. I legit fall asleep for 2-3 hours, dream, and wake-up like I've been hibernating - I don't know what year it is and I don't remember who I am. 
Researchers had previously found a negative loop in which sleep, inflammation and depression interact and progressively worsen. The results of the current and previous research on insomnia suggest that exercise may be resetting this negative feedback loop.
I guess the good news is that exercise can help. The difficulty these articles fail to mention is how it's difficult to exercise if you're perma-exhausted.  Another article points to the opposite of hypersomnia, insomnia as a major factor in depression and suicide.
At least three-quarters of clinically depressed people struggle with sleep, and insomnia is a well-proven risk factor for suicide across different cultures and age groups.
So whether hypersomnia or insomnia, sleep is a major symptom of, or indicator of something being wrong. It's currently about 2.30 pm and I indeed could fall asleep here. The office is quiet, my work is done for the day, and we're only 4 or 5 active bodies in the place. I want to curl up under my desk. I want to cover my head with my shall and go elsewhere.

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All I want to do now (and any day really) is go home and go to bed. It's Thursday. This weekend I'm planning on going out to the Eastern Townships with S. Can't wait. She's basically the only person I can be brutally honest with about my mental health. We'll be in the country, and we can sleep and take it easy. It'll be nice.

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