Why Does Depression Make You Tired? - Joshua York Legacy Foundation

Why Does Depression Make You Tired?

Jul 4, 2022 | Suicide Prevention | 0 comments

Why Does Depression Make You Tired?

Depression fatigue is a very real phenomenon and many people who suffer from depression find that they are constantly tired and have no energy.

So why does depression make you tired? In this article, we will explore the reasons why depression makes you tired. We will also discuss ways to manage depression fatigue.

Understanding What Depression And Fatigue Are

Before we discuss what depression fatigue is, we have to understand what depression and fatigue actually are.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by sadness, lack of interest in activities, and tiredness. Depression affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, resulting in various physical and emotional issues.

While the precise cause of depression is difficult to determine, a variety of circumstances and personal qualities can contribute to its development. Some of these include:

Life events: Various life events can increase the risk of developing clinical depression. These include the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, financial problems, or any other major life change.

Personality traits: Some people are more likely to develop clinical depression due to their personality traits. People who tend to be perfectionists, pessimistic, or who generally have negative outlooks on life are more likely to develop depression.

Depression is a serious medical condition that requires treatment. If you think you may be suffering from clinical depression, it is important to see a mental health professional for an evaluation.

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical activity, emotional stress, lack of sleep, or medical conditions. Fatigue can also be a symptom of depression.

When you feel fatigued, you may experience a lot of physical symptoms such as reduced activity, low energy, tiredness, decreased physical endurance, general weakness, heaviness, and sluggishness. You might also experience other cognitive symptoms such as decreased concentration and attention.

There are two types of fatigue:

Physical fatigue: Physical fatigue is caused by physical activity or exertion. It is the most common type of fatigue. Physical fatigue can be relieved by rest and sleep.

Mental fatigue: Mental fatigue is caused by mental or emotional stress. It can make you feel exhausted even when you have not exerted yourself physically. Mental fatigue can be relieved by relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.

Why Does Depression Cause Fatigue?

A woman on her bed

According to statistics gathered in 2018, over 90% of individuals suffering from major depressive disorder experience fatigue. Why does this occur so frequently?

Well, one of the reasons depression causes fatigue is because it changes the way you sleep. People who are depressed often have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. This can lead to fatigue during the day.

Another reason depression causes fatigue is that it changes the way your body uses energy. When you are depressed, your body may not be able to convert food into energy as efficiently as it normally does. This can lead to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion.

Lastly, depression can cause chemical changes in the brain that lead to fatigue. Depression affects the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals play a role in regulating mood and energy levels. When they are imbalanced, it can lead to fatigue.

What about the other way around? Can Fatigue Cause depression?

Yes, an illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome can result in depression. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex condition that is not yet fully understood. It is characterized by extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest and may worsen with physical or mental activity. Chronic fatigue syndrome can also cause other symptoms, such as sleep disorders( insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea), headaches, and memory problems.

5 Tips For Dealing With Depression Fatigue

If you are dealing with depression fatigue, there are some things you can do to manage your symptoms.

Get regular exercise: Exercise can help to increase energy levels and improve sleep. It can also help to relieve stress and improve your mood.

Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet can help your body to convert food into energy more efficiently. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Get quality sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing fatigue. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. If you have a sleep disorder or have trouble falling asleep at night, you can talk to your doctor about treatment options to help you fall asleep faster.

Manage stress: Stress can worsen fatigue and make it harder to manage your symptoms. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to help reduce stress.

Talk to your doctor: If you are struggling to manage your fatigue, talk to your doctor. They can help you identify any underlying medical conditions and develop a treatment plan.

Why Does Depression Make You Tired? – Final Thoughts

Depression fatigue is a common symptom of depression that can be frustrating to deal with. However, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms. Exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management can all help to reduce fatigue. We hope this article has been helpful in understanding why depression causes fatigue and how you can deal with it.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, we encourage you to reach out for help. Here are some resources that may be able to help:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8225)
  • The Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness: 800-950-NAMI (800-950-6624)


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