I think that there’s an important, bi-directional relationship between fatigue and depression. I find my chronic, severe fatigue to be very depressing.
My profound exhaustion limits what I need to do, as well as what I want to do, on a daily basis. I’m well aware, of course, that one of the symptoms of depression is also fatigue.
Therefore, being depressed about my fatigue is causing me to feel even more fatigued. In turn, feeling more fatigued results in even more severe symptoms of depression. What a truly vicious cycle!
Nevertheless, there are some things that have helped me better navigate this frenetic carousel ride. I remind myself of those controllable factors that are contributing to my fatigue.
For example, if I happen to go too many hours between eating, my fatigue will be more severe. Simply stopping to have a light, nutritious snack makes a difference in my energy level. If I’m feeling depressed because of an overwhelming, uncompleted task, I try to break it down into more manageable, bite-size steps.
Completing the first step allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment. It also results in reduced levels of anxiety and depression, too. Yes, there is no doubt that dealing with chronic, debilitating fatigue is depressing.
However, there are steps that we can take to minimize its overall impact, thereby reducing the degree to which we feel depressed.