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Bedtime and Depression

When Bedtime Network's talented therapists get together, we double the insight, double the expertise.  In this case, Bedtime Network's Miriam Baker (sex) and Nyiri Grigorian (relationships) have joined up for this packed and timely post on bedtime and depression.

Bedtime and Depression.  Sadly, they go together like,  "two peas in a pod,"  and should never, ever be taken lightly.

If you feel yourself being described in any of this, then it's time to write to our coaches and definitely time to seek outside help.

Remember one of our main mottos for bedtime; YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

It is not new news that depression and sleep are inextricably linked.

The hormones in the makeup of brain chemistry are altered by depression, which alters sleep.

People who are depressed are symptomatic around sleep and bedtime rituals.

When people look at the common lists describing the symptoms of depression, sleep loss or gain is at the top.

Depression and sleep disturbance can manifest in many different ways.

Difficulty falling asleep may actually be a sign of depression.

More common is the behavior of staying in bed or sleeping a lot.

Related to this is also the behavior of early awakening or inability to get out of bed.

Bedtime becomes central in the diagnosis of depression.

In addition to sleep disturbance, one of the most common clinical signs of depression is a change in sexual behavior and desire.

When people are depressed there is a decrease in mood for sex.; again a symptom that is linked to bedtime rituals.

Depression creates a decrease in self-esteem; an increase in ruminative thinking and pessimism.

Alongside these symptoms may be sensitivity to rejection and struggles with guilt.

This, "makes the bed," for sexual problems.

Partners of people struggling with depression very often feel rejected by their depressed partners and take the lack of interest in sex or them personally.

As therapists, we look to bedtime as diagnosis time when it comes to depression.

We evaluate bedtime behaviors especially with regard to changes that are occurring over the past few months. Often, patients do not see the link until they begin to describe soft signs such as extreme fatigue or restless sleep, which may actually be depression.

A couple who had an active sex life report changes while in therapy and focus on resentment and guilt, until the diagnosis of depression is clarified. Treatment in this case is then altered.

The etiology of depression is vast and varied from person to person.

Depression is a clinical illness. You have seen the commercials.  Yes.  "It hurts."

It can be hereditary.

It can be reactive to a loss or, it can be situational.

It can be anger turned inward.

It can result from feelings of self depreciation related to guilt.

If the depression is psychodynamic, therapy is most helpful in it's resolution.

If the depression is physiologic, a combination of therapy and medication is needed.

As an example; if the depression is related to unexpressed anger and resentment, therapy is the perfect forum for relief.

So, given this information, you can imagine how important bedtime is.

Remember: the night is a dark place for our aloneness.

Our worries and upset accumulate all day.

Do not confuse this with when these feelings become a depression.

If you are struggling with depression, bedtime can be a comfort as opposed to just a symptom.

Getting into bed after a gratifying bedtime ritual that is soothing is different than hiding.