How The ‘lost Art’ Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience
Another way that chronic stress makes us feel exhausted is by interfering with sleep, says Bufka. “When we’re feeling stressed, our sleep can get disrupted, which naturally leads to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion,” she says.
“We really rely on sleep to recover each day,” explains Epel. “And so for many of us, even though we might think we’re sleeping the same number of hours, it’s not the same quality. It doesn’t have the same restorative ability, because we’re getting less deep sleep, and we think that is tied to this chronic, subtle uncertainty, stress.”
What Strategies Are Often Used In Treating This Dual Diagnosis
Evidence-based research suggests that both anxiety and depression be treated at the same time.
Effective strategies often used in treating these co-occurring conditions include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is often used to treat people with both disorders. Fears, anxieties and tendencies toward depression are managed by seeking out their root causes. Once uncovered, patients learn how to take control of their emotions and life.
- Antidepressant medications Often combined with CBT, these may be prescribed in treating both disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are new antidepressant drugs that produce fewer side effects than their predecessors.
- Exercise This can be very helpful for both disorders. Physical activity causes feel-good chemicals to be released in the body. This aids in relaxation and feeling of well-being.
- Relaxation techniques This typically involves meditation or mindfulness. These techniques can often help to remedy both disorders and improve quality of life.2
What Are Breathing Problems
Breathing problems are when you feel you cant get enough air, your chest feels very tight, you are breathless or you feel like youre being suffocated.
You might feel short of breath if you are obese or if you have just done some strenuous exercise. It can also happen in extreme temperatures or if you are at high altitude.
If you have breathing problems for any other reason, it is probably the sign of a medical problem.
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Your B12 Levels Are Low
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are most at risk for being deficient, as well as people with gastrointestinal issues, who may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin, and people on heartburn and reflux medications. The important vitamin is needed in order to make red blood cells and DNA and plays a major role in nerve function and mood. B12 helps to maintain the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, which make it possible for cells to communicate.
But when levels are low, this communication becomes compromised, which can lead to neurological changes. B12 is also involved in the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that regulate mood, so low levels could cause changes in the nervous system.
One study in the journal BMC Psychiatry followed 115 people with depression for six months and found that those with higher levels of B12 had a greater chance of recovery from depression, leading scientists to believe there is an association between B12 and mental health. Low levels of B12 have even been linked to .
Rheumatoid Arthritis And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, morning stiffness, joint pain, inflamed joints
Rheumatoid arthritis , a type of inflammatory arthritis, is another cause of excessive fatigue. Because joint damage can result in disability, early and aggressive treatment is the best approach for rheumatoid arthritis.
Medications that may be used early in mild RA include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
Other drugs used in more serious forms of RA include the anti-cytokine therapies , as well as shots and other forms of treatment.
Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and Sjogren’s disease, may also cause fatigue.
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
What Are The Consequences Of Residual Symptoms Of Fatigue In Mdd
Dr. Fava: The key point is that patients with residual fatigue are more likely to get depressed again despite continued prophylactic treatment. There is a much greater likelihood that patients with MDD who have residual symptoms like fatigue will also have work, school, and/or social difficulties. As you know, there is a very high medical comorbidity associated with depression as well. Therefore, we need to identify these symptoms and intervene as early as possible.
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Youre Lacking In Vitamin D
If youve got a job that keeps you indoors most of the day, chances are you may be part of the 42 percent of Americans with a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is created by your body when sunlight hits the skin and is found in fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, eggs, and mushrooms.
Most people associate low vitamin D with wintertime and seasonal depression, but it can hit at any time of year. A thorough review of studies analyzing depression and vitamin D concluded that lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared to controls.
Scientists also found that when depressed individuals received vitamin D supplementation for one year, they had significant improvements in symptoms of depression compared with depressed people taking a placebo. The area of the brain associated with depression is also a site of vitamin D receptors, posing one possible explanation for the link between the two.
What Antidepressant Medications Are Most Likely To Cause Fatigue In Depression
Dr. Fava: Although fatigue is viewed as a common side effect of the more sedating antidepressants, such as the tricyclic antidepressants, substantial rates of treatment-emergent fatigue have been reported with SSRIs and SNRIs. A pooled analysis by our group has shown that bupropion’s use is associated with significantly lower levels of residual fatigue compared to the SSRIs.
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Why Are Anxiety And Depression Often Co
Its a cycle, says Sally R. Connolly, LCSW and therapist. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem. You feel bad about it. Then you feel like youve failed. You move to depression.
These two disorders anxiety and depression have a complicated relationship:
- The chance of acquiring depression is much higher when an anxiety disorder already exists. Nearly half of those with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety.
- People who are depressed often feel anxious and worried. One can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression.
- People with post-traumatic stress disorder are especially prone to developing depression.
- A biological predisposition for both of these conditions if often at the root of an individuals battle. This seems to be true with anxiety disorders even more than with depression. Connolly explains, Some people are just worriers and pass it down.
People with an anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist or other healthcare professional about their symptoms. Treatment for an anxiety disorder should not be delayed. If not caught in time, depression may find the door wide open for moving in and setting up house in those individuals.2
What You Can Do To Stop Tiredness
Stopping tiredness is difficult because tiredness is your bodys way of promoting rest when it feels it needs a break. Drinking coffee is one way of doing this, but ideally, you dont want to do it because it can make your anxiety symptoms worse and make it harder to sleep restfully at night.
The following are some approved ways to address tiredness:
- Taking SHORT Naps: Long naps can be problematic for your sleep needs, but short naps of 20 minutes or less can help your body regain some much needed energy.
- Sleep Hygiene:The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleep hygiene tactics to make it easier to get rest, including avoiding any caffeinated food and drink near bedtime, exercising during the day to promote sleep quality, avoiding heavy and rich food before bed, and getting adequate exposure to natural light.
- Engage in Relaxation Strategies: Utilizing relaxation strategies can be valuable for reducing tiredness. Using practices like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can reduce stress during the day so that you are less drained overall.
Finally, the most important change to make is to prioritize reducing your anxiety. Tiredness is much easier to prevent than it is to stop. Thats why you need to take steps to start controlling your anxiety better. The less intense your anxiety is, the less tired you should feel.
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Shortness Of Breath Vs Normal Breathing
Shortness of breath occurs when your bodys ability to breathe doesnt match the brains orders to breathe. Ordinarily, your airway, lungs, breathing muscles, heart, and blood vessels work together with the brain to maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the body.
Sometimes theres an imbalance between the brains signals to breathe and the ability to breathe. The brain orders the breathing muscles to work harder, and you feel shortness of breath.
In a healthy person, shortness of breath can be caused by:
- Very strenuous exercise
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Allergic reaction
If you have unexplained shortness of breath, especially if it comes on suddenly and is severe, see a doctor as soon as possible. Breathlessness may be more serious if its accompanied by:
- Chest pain or pressure
The Role Of Diet And Exercise In Managing Chronic Fatigue And Anxiety
Restoring overall health through diet and regular exercise is an essential aspect of managing anxiety. In addition to sticking with a healthy Mediterranean diet, there are actually certain foods that can help quell feelings of anxiety fatigue, including:
- Salmon and other fatty fish
- Pumpkin seeds
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Anxiety And Fatigue: Must I Be So Tired All The Time
We have ways to describe anxiety and fatigue: Bone-weary, bushed, all in, dazed, dopey, depleted, drugged. Washed-up, worn-out, dozy, dreamy. Soporific, sluggish, torpid, tuckered, done. One of the hardest parts of living with anxiety is how tired you get. Anxiety can cause extreme fatigue. In fact, the fatigue of anxiety, that lack of energy, is often the first tip that something’s really not okay.
You hear a lot of people today, worrying about lack of sleep. Quite rightly: More stress, longer hours, most spent under fluorescent lights that induce derealization, confusing our body clocks. The body usually ‘gets it’ and adjusts energy levels based on the amount of ambient light. Usually. If you’re dealing with the symptoms of anxiety as well, it’s harder. When the body doesn’t know if it’s time to stop or go then fatigue and insomnia may just settle in with a long-term lease.
That being said, people tend to overestimate the time they spend trying to get some rest, and underestimate the total amount they sleep. Yes, that’s from a study. No, I can’t cite it. I read about it a few years ago whilst nursing some lovely ladies with dementia, depression and such.
Eliminate Stress Chronic Stress And Hyperstimulation
Reducing and eliminating unhealthy stress is an important remedy for hyperstimulation and its symptoms, including chronic fatigue. Removing the primary source of energy depletion stress – eliminates chronic fatigue in time.
There are many natural ways to reduce stress, such as regular deep relaxation, regular exercise, cutting back on work hours, increasing rest, getting good sleep, and spending more time in nature.
Chapters 4 and 14 in the Recovery Support area list a great many ways we can reduce stress. They also explain why recovering from hyperstimulation can take more time than most people expect and what you can do about it.
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How Are Cfs And Depression Diagnosed
Your doctor can diagnose either condition. Theyâll start with a complete physical exam and medical history. Theyâll ask you about your symptoms, when they started, when they happen, and what seems to make them worse or better.
Youâll get a diagnosis of CFS if you have sleep problems and at least 6 months of extreme fatigue that doesnât get better with bed rest and worsens after any physical or mental activity. Youâll also have one of the following symptoms: memory or concentration problems, or dizziness or faintness when you stand up.
Youâll get a diagnosis of depression if you have had symptoms for at least 2 weeks. If youâve had symptoms for 2 years or more, youâll get a diagnosis of persistent depression.
Lab tests.Blood or urine tests help rule out other illnesses that cause fatigue, like anemia, diabetes, or thyroid disease. People with CFS may have high levels of certain hormones that could show up on a blood test. A blood test can check for levels of certain inflammatory cells. CFS is associated with higher levels of T cells and lower levels of B cells, while depression is associated with fewer T cells, but more B cells.
Sleep study. You can be tested to see when your sleep is disturbed. CFS causes more problems during non-REM sleep, or periods of lighter sleep. Depression causes more problems during phases of deep, or REM, sleep.
Treatment Of Major Depressive Disorder
Treating major depressive disorder usually takes the shape of a two-pronged approach: antidepressant drug therapy and psychotherapy. These treatment elements are the cornerstone of depression treatment, although to varying degrees of success. Antidepressants come in various forms and act in different nuances ways upon brain chemistry. The four categories of antidepressants include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, and TCAs. Antidepressants take 4-6 weeks to produce various degrees of symptom relief, although 30%-50% of patients do not achieve symptom relief from these drugs.
Psychotherapy is designed to treat the particular features of the depression, so for some individuals that may involve delving into childhood trauma to help process and heal these emotional wounds, while others may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy . CBT helps patients confront their negative self-messaging in response to various triggers, and then change those thought patterns toward more productive, positive ones.
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Is It Possible That I Have Pots And Was Incorrectly Diagnosed
This is entirely possible. Given how common POTS symptoms are and how unfamiliar many doctors are with this condition, diagnostic mishaps happen. POTS is frequently misidentified as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, anxiety disorder, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, myositis, etc. It is also possible that you have both POTS and one of these conditions, which may complicate the diagnosis. Sometimes people with POTS are told that its all in your head, implying that the cause of their symptoms is psychological. If you feel like something is physically wrong, dont hesitate to seek a second, and even a third or fourth opinion.
COVID-19 and POTS: Is There a Link?
Although many people recover quickly from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, others who recover may continue to experience symptoms for months. Researchers are still determining the cause of these extended symptoms, but some COVID-19 “long-haulers” may actually be dealing with POTS.
You Drink Alcohol In Excess
You might think happy hour is the ultimate way to unwind from your day, but the temporary effects of alcohol are just thattemporary. When you drink, alcohol increases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, and binds to and alters the neurotransmitter receptor GABA, which increases the effect of GABA and can have a calming effect in the moment. But it also interrupts other mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like serotonin. When these alcohol-induced effects wear off, you may experience a range of anxiety symptoms.
In the long term, excessive drinking makes neurons less excitable and permanently changes the mRNA and protein levels in GABA receptors. This makes the receptors less sensitive, so the brain needs more GABA. Without it, symptoms of anxiety can result. This doesnt necessarily mean you have to completely remove alcohol from your life, but take at least three nights off per week from drinking and always drink in moderation.
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Dr Fava How Often Do We Observe Symptoms Of Fatigue In Mdd
Dr. Fava: We see prominent symptoms of fatigue in the majority of patients with depression. In fact, fatigue is one of the most prevalent presenting symptoms of MDD, the second most prominent residual symptom of MDD, and is often associated with impaired concentration, irritability, and reduced productivity. Further, up to one-third of MDD patients who have achieved remission or response stiH continue to experience some symptoms of fatigue., In one recent study, more than 90 percent of patients with MDD had severe fatigue despite the fact that more than 80 percent of these patients were already taking antidepressant medications. In this study of 66 patients with MDD, 81.5 percent were taking antidepressant medications: 48.2 percent were taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and 33.3 percent were taking serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors .
Why Does Anxiety Cause Chronic Fatigue
Living with anxiety, regardless of the specific type within the spectrum of anxiety disorders, can be utterly exhausting. Anxiety churns so much energy on worry and fear, constantly elevating the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This leads to physical and mental fatigue.
When the body is in the fight or flight mode it activates the stress response. This is how human beings are hardwired, fulfilling an innate survival instinct in response to a perceived threat. Someone struggling with an anxiety disorder can experience this stress response over and over in a given day, depleting the bodys energy reserves and resulting in the state of fatigue.
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