The National Institute of Mental Health is evaluating research data on insomnia and depression from major U.S. schools such as Stanford, Duke, the University of Pittsburgh, as well as Ryerson University in Toronto. The research from all schools conclude that while it has been long held belief that depression causes insomnia, insomnia can actually precede and directly contribute to causing depression. The link between depression and insomnia works in both directions, however treating both can make a huge difference in curing both depression and insomnia.
Common Signs of Insomnia with Undiagnosed Depression
Some of the most common signs reported for an insomnia diagnosis include:
- Fatigue during the daytime with loss of energy
- Irritability with others
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Feeling like you never get “enough” sleep
- Trouble falling asleep
- Difficulty going back to sleep after waking up during the night
- Waking up at all hours of the night
- Waking up before the alarm clock goes off
Common signs of Major Depression
Some of the most common symptoms of major depression also include signs that point to insomnia:
- Change in sleep patterns
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Impaired concentration with complaints of poor memory
- Insomnia or its reverse hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Problems staying asleep all night
While there is cross-over of symptoms between insomnia and depression it does not mean you have one or both of these two diagnoses. Only an experienced psychiatrist can correctly diagnosis and successfully treat either insomnia, depression, or a combination of the two discovering if it was insomnia that preceded the depression or vise-versa.
Combination Treatment Effective
Depression and insomnia do respond to use of one or a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While pharmacological and CBT can be used to treat both depression and insomnia, treatment of insomnia or sleep problems are typically an integral component used in the treatment of depression.
Self-diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis and treatment may cause more harm than good, delay proper treatment, and risk developing other physical, medical or mental health issues.
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