Will taking naps help your depression? They have helped me off and on, especially when younger and severly ill. Even now, when not in an ill state I’m big on sleep. It’s a big part of how I stay well.
I hate that I require a lot of sleep but I’ve adapted to it and as I’ve gotten older it’s not such a big deal. When I was younger it was.
And I went through some abysmal years dealing with depression and mood swings during my early years as well – age 21 to age 28 or so. It was awful.
When I was in a severely depressed state of my illness Manic Depression sleep was the only relief I had. A restful respite and relief of constant painful fatigue, stuck-in-a-rut thinking and often suicidal ideation.
Severe depression is serious and with Manic Depression often includes rapid cycling where you start to come out of it and get a bit energetic and motivated… only to slam back into the depressive state once more.
And that happens over and over again. Multiple times over the course of a few days, a week, a month, a year until you find aids to help you stabilize. For me it was thyroid issues and needings some treatments for chronic fatigue.
How Do Naps Help?
Rest time was crucial to surviving those unwordly episodes. I had to block out the mental thought processes that were causing me only grief. And since I was not in treatment for the bipolar (because that had failed with lithium and antidepressants making me worse) one of the only interventions that helped was to rest.
If I slept, all the better. Even shitty dreams were better than a waking nightmare state of just wanting to die yet feeling like I should have been feeling good. What the heck was wrong with me?
Depression is a sickness and a very difficult one at times to deal with. It got better over time due to many factors (thyroid medication, diet changes, successful work, etc.) but the one thing that I keep on hand in my arsenal is simply to rest.
Taking Naps Helps Fatigue
Fatigue is a big part of my depressive states so resting at times makes sense. I have a form of CFS/ME so rest is treating another medical condition in addition to trying to help regulate moods. Anything that helps to not worsen either I give a try.
On the other hand, fighting depression by forcing yourself at times to get out and do things even though you do not feel like it so you do not stay in a rut is crucial as well. It’s natural to want to isolate yourself when not feeling well. It just doesn’t lead to a very productive or enjoyable existence. I want to enjoy my life when and as I can.
I Rarely Nap Anymore
If I need to rest I do but I rarely nap during the day anymore. Daytime fatigue for me was a symptom of thyroid problems and not getting quality sleep (I get a lot of help from melatonin). There are many medical causes for fatigue and for depression, so do some research and try things that may help you.
Related post: Root Causes of Depression.
But if you are depressed and feeling overwhelmed and awful during the day maybe taking a short respite will help you. It will get better. That I do know. And there are many amazing health care providers you can work with, that will help you find ways to be well outside of psychiatry’s ‘drugs for life’ model of mental illness.
Photograph of dog taking a nap is a free use image from Pixabay.com.