When sleep deprivation continues for days or weeks at a time, it can interfere with our ability to think clearly. It can even bring about serious health consequences. Disrupted sleep is one of the most potent triggers of depression, and there’s evidence that most episodes of mood disorder are preceded by at least several weeks of subpar slumber.
I am trying so hard to practice what I preach, but it is difficult. When I went through the darkest time of my depression, I barely slept at all. My mind was all over the place. I worried about being depressed; I worried about my eyes ; I started worrying about not sleeping.
Since I was in my "Give me drugs" phase then, I wanted sleeping pills. This is where the paradox came in. After I was prescribed the sleeping pills, I started researching them on the Internet. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the potential side effects.
Well, this is just great. I'm not supposed to take them every day, the effect could wear off over time, and I could possibly become addicted to them. Nothing to worry about here, right? Not for me, I just added these things to my arsenal to worry about.
So, I didn't sleep. And I didn't sleep. I wasted time and money for something that either didn't work or I wouldn't let work. It was more likely I wouldn't let it work because I felt so guilty about having depression and being on those kind of drugs. I let the stigma control my thought process.
Did my lack of sleep affect my ability to think clearly? Absolutely! Not only from the lack of sleep itself, but also constantly thinking about how the lack of sleep could affect me. What if I screw up at work? What if it affects my driving? I just put myself in one vicious circle after another.
Things have improved, almost 12 years later. I do sleep better, but It's not the best it has ever been. Getting older may contribute to some lack of sleep now. The important thing is I don't dwell on it like I used to. That's relief right there.
I guess my words of wisdom are: Do the best you can to get proper rest. Don't force it though, because force won't help the situation. Take your mind off the issue and replace those thoughts with something constructive.
Yours in good health,
Phil Holleman spent 10 years struggling with major depression. After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created ABoldNewLife.com to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover from depression. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use your inner strength to free yourself from the bondage.