sleeping too much

When you feel sad all the time, sleeping becomes an opportunity for relief. Depression depletes your energy anyway, only adding to the desire to lie down and drift off to sleep. When your depressive state leads to sleeping too much, this condition is called hypersomnia, or the opposite of insomnia.

Excessive sleeping is a common symptom of major depressive disorder. Escaping emotional pain through sleeping more hours than usual may be a means of self-managing the depression, or the sleeping too much may be a physiological effect of the reduction of neurotransmitters common among depression patients.

When the symptoms of depression, such as hypersomnia, are so significant that they undermine your quality of life, it is time to seek professional help. Depression is a serious mental health condition that may lead to a daily impairment that can undermine all areas of life. When excessive sleeping has impacted your career or job security, your relationships, or your overall wellbeing, proactive steps to improve psychological health are in order.

Some Basic Facts About Depressive Disorders

Depression is the second most common mental health disorder experienced by Americans. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 17 million Americans are afflicted with this debilitating condition each year. Additionally, 2.3 million adolescents struggle with depression, further defining depression as a serious mental health threat today. In fact, suicide is now the second leading cause of preventable death among young people aged 10-34. These statistics underscore the importance of getting professional help for managing this serious mental health condition.

There are several different types of depression, with each type expressing unique features. Treatment for depression will be based on which particular type of depression is presenting. These types of depressive disorder include:

Major depressive disorder. MDD is the most widely diagnosed form of depression. A diagnosis of MDD results when five or more of the following symptoms are present for two weeks or longer:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, despair, or emptiness
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in eating habits, weight changes
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Dysthymia. Dysthymic, or persistent depressive disorder, is a type of depression that persists for more than two years. Someone with dysthymia may experience periods of severe depression alternating with periods of mild depression symptoms for more than two years.

Postpartum depression. A woman who experiences serious symptoms of depression during and/or after giving birth has postpartum depression. The symptoms may be so severe that the mother is unable to care for her child or for herself. They may experience severe fatigue, exhaustion, and anxiety in addition to the intense sadness.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PMDD is related to a woman’s hormonal cycle, and features intensified PMS symptoms, such as angry outbursts, hopelessness, irritability, hypersomnia, excessive crying, and sensitivity to rejection.

Seasonal affective disorder. Climates further from the equator may lead to depression symptoms that are caused by a lack of sun exposure during the winter months. The individual may experience the symptoms of sleeping too much, weight gain, and isolation behaviors in addition to other depression symptoms.

Bipolar depression. This type of depressive disorder features alternating dramatic and unpredictable shifts between depressive and manic moods. The low mood episodes are classified as bipolar depression

What Causes Depression?

Depression is an extremely complex mental health disorder. Why is it that some people seem to manage serious life events, such as the death of a loved one, a job loss, divorce, or other traumatic events, while others succumb to depression? To date, science has not yet determined the exact causes or factors related to depression, although ongoing research continues to offer new clues.

For example, a recent study out of Japan reveals the action of certain protein signaling that may affect mood. The authors, Kobayashi et.al., state, “Taken together these findings suggest that RGS8 participates in modulation of depression-like behavior through ciliary MCHR1 expressed in the CA1 region.” Some of the factors that have been also been identified as contributing to depression include:

  • Genetics. A family history of depression is one of the biggest predictors of the disorder. Individuals with a close relative who suffers from depression will increase the probability for other family members.
  • Brain function. The neural connections, brain cell growth, and brain chemistry are factors in mood regulation. There is some scientific evidence that chemical imbalances in the brain may contribute to the onset of depression.
  • Temperament. Personality traits, such as how excitable or how sensitive we are by nature can factor into depression.
  • Stressful life events. People respond in their own unique way, often based on temperament, to stressful life events. Grief and loss, trauma, abuse, and many difficult life events can result in sustained and chronic depressed mood.
  • Medical conditions. Some health conditions can contribute to depressions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus, stroke, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, and erectile dysfunction in men. Some medications can also cause depression as a side effect of the drug.
  • Substance abuse. Alcohol or drug abuse may precede the onset of depression. The negative consequences that follow a substance use disorder may overwhelm the individual and depression can develop as a result.

How Depression Impacts Daily Life

Living with depression on a day-to-day basis can have a significant impact on quality of life. In addition to the low mood and persistent feelings of sadness, depression can leave the individual feeling unwell. This combination of symptoms will often result in reduced functioning at work and at home.

Sleep disruptions, including sleeping too much or sleeping too little, will wreak havoc with concentration, energy and stamina, memory functions, appetite, and can further intensify feelings of despair. When depression causes a person to literally not want to get out of bed all day it can cause a domino effect in all other realms. Hypersomnia may even lead to excessive absences at work and declining work performance overall.

Excessive sleeping also has a negative impact on the family dynamic. When mom or dad is holed up in bed the children who are depending on the parent may not have access to the care they deserve. This places more pressure on the well parent to take up the extra burden, which can have an effect on the relationship. Eventually, the impact of depression will touch all aspects of life.

Getting Help for Depression

The fundamental treatment protocol for depression involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy:

  • Psychotherapy. One-on-one talk therapy sessions allow the therapist to guide the individual toward resolving unaddressed emotional issues that may be contributing to the depression. These may involve past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss, divorce, and other painful life events. Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful for helping to guide patients toward established more self-affirming thoughts that lead to positive thought/behavior patterns. Group therapy sessions, such as a depression support group, can also be beneficial to individuals being treated for depression.
  • Medication. Antidepressant drug therapy is the industry standard for depression treatment. There are dozens of antidepressants on the market today. These include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclic antidepressants. The drugs vary in how they impact brain chemistry, and dosing adjustments or even changing to a different drug is common when trying to find the best fit for each patient.

If the severity of the depression is becoming concerning it is appropriate to seek a residential mental health program to receive the highest level of mental health support. Although most individuals struggling with depression realize it is likely a temporary condition that will eventually pass, some may begin to believe things will never change. This can cause some to consider harming themselves. A residential mental health program will offer constant support and monitoring, as well as a more intensive and individualized approach to treating depression.

Holistic Activities Complement Depression Treatment

Psychiatry has begun to embrace holistic therapies as complementary to traditional treatment modalities for depression, as these activities can help reduce stress and induce feelings of calm. Some of the holistic treatment elements include:

  • Yoga. Yoga involves slow, purposeful physical poses with a focus on breathing. Yoga is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress while also strengthening and stretching muscles, and reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture uses tiny needles to open up energy paths in the body thought to assist in the improvement of mind-body connectedness and wellness.
  • Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is also helpful in training the brain to focus purposefully on the present moment, taking in the various sensory stimuli and focusing on rhythmic breathing.
  • Exercise. The positive effects of getting regular exercise are caused by the release of brain chemicals, such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
  • Aromatherapy. Certain essential oils have been found to relieve symptoms of depressed mood. These include jasmine, citrus oils, bergamot, and chamomile oils.
  • Nutritional counseling. A diet rich in lean proteins, nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits, oily fish such as salmon, beans, and whole grains can significantly contribute to mental stability.

Depression is a manageable mental health disorder. When the symptoms of depression lead to impairment in daily functioning, obtaining the support of a mental health professional is essential to recovery.

Elevation Behavioral Health Residential Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Los Angeles-based residential program that offers intensive mental health treatment for depression. When outpatient interventions have been ineffective in improving quality of life, you may benefit from a more targeted treatment protocol. With deluxe accommodations and a highly attentive clinical staff, Elevation Behavioral Health strives to make the client’s stay a comfortable and healing experience. Elevation Behavioral Health offers a full daily schedule of therapies and adjunctive activities to help individuals struggling with depression reclaim their joy and return to healthy functioning. For more information about our program please contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

how to stop self destructive behavior

Men and women who carry out self destructive behavior demonstrate the habit over and over again without repose. These behaviors include every aspect of life, from work to family to romantic relationships; the list literally goes on forever. These behaviors have negative impacts on their lives, which serves them with rejection, disappointment, and failure to find happiness. Subsequently, the ramifications of these self destructive behaviors form a downward spiral to various levels of suffering. The unintended consequences of such behavior have negative impacts not just for the victim themselves, but also for those around them. Each behavior can be stacked on another and lead to a complex layering of social dysfunction.

Often, the individuals suffering from these routines or involuntary behaviors are aware of the situation, but are either unwilling or unable to rectify the urge to self-sabotage. Sometimes the behaviors themselves have a positive feeling, but that feeling eventually degrades over time. This may lead to the individual seeking more damaging behaviors to fill the void of the initial issue that started it all. How to stop self destructive behavior becomes important when it reaches a level that threatens safety, well-being, or life in general. That is why it is important to understand the generation of such self-defeating rituals and what they are.

Signs of Self Destructive Behavior

How to stop self destructive behavior? First, you must identify those behaviors, so you can deal with them accordingly. These include:

  • Self Mutilation or Injury (NSSI)
  • Substance Misuse or Abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Vaping or Smoking
  • Eating Disorder (IE: Bulimia, Anorexia)
  • Hermit Syndrome
  • Abusive Relationship Seeking
  • Cell Phone/Tablet Addiction
  • Gambling
  • Unsafe Sexual Practices
  • Sleep Escapism
  • Suicide Attempts
  • Violence Towards Others

Many of these behaviors tend to appear together or replace each other when going untreated. Addictions form and patterns emerge that cause pain and suffering for those afflicted. Many times, these signs are hidden in plain sight under social conventions that are considered acceptable in society. For instance, social drinking or smoking can seem harmless from the casual observer, but might be a gateway into more harmful behaviors.

The Environment Becomes Us

Human beings are complex animals with intricate social, cultural, and religious traditions, which are triggered, shaped, and exploited by mechanisms of an economic system. The environmental pressures and stresses truly impact the development of human beings throughout their lives. Often, the human psyche is too weak to thwart the advancement of pressures in advertising and social networks. These networks include childhood groups, cliques, and teams, as well as family and work relationships. Everyone is pulling and picking at everyone else in some form or another, which is why peer pressure can trigger certain behaviors early in development.

How to stop self destructive behavior that originates in childhood is one of the first aspects that must be addressed. Many studies suggest that adults that suffer from self destructive behavior and habits have histories of childhood trauma in their early developmental years and throughout adolescence. These moments of disruption, chaos, or even abuse build the foundation of poor choices and bad habits. Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse contribute to the likelihood of severe outcomes for those involved, which may include life threatening, self-harming types of behaviors. Issues will also arise due to neglect or psychological abuse by parents or guardians, which may be another source of these negative behaviors. This is why it is important for family, teachers, and neighbors to intervene when these problems become apparent. Society, as a whole, must take responsibility for everyone in the community rather than just themselves if we are truly to tackle these social ills.

Changing the environment is usually helpful when dealing with issues that may be triggered or enhanced by a place where these behaviors originated. This sometimes means taking drastic measures and removing the individual from the environment that created the original trauma. It is necessary to retreat from negative spaces that contain triggers and enabling factors, so one can separate from the places the toxic behavior manifests. Safe spaces or even places of solitude should be considered when dealing with behavior issues.

Meditation and Mindfulness as Treatment

If you struggle with self destructive behaviors, the practice of mindfulness meditation has the potential to release the sufferer from the attachment to the behavior. The process of detaching oneself and perceiving your actions with a nonjudgmental attitude creates a shift in perspective. This perspective can lead a person to discover themselves as the object of awareness, rather than a victim of an experience. Taking this step back, this practice can remove the ego and replace it with a sense of observation that can be used to dismantle the negative behaviors that have taken over the individual. This newly acquired and practiced discipline, if harnessed, can have life changing results.

There are other aspects of mindfulness involving diet and exercise that can help pull the afflicted from the behaviors by replacing the old routines with new, healthier ways. Yoga and exercise in general can stimulate healthy endorphin production that can ease the transition away from the unhealthy emotional chemical dependencies. Adding swimming to someone’s routine can also promote a state of equilibrium and renewal. Bringing fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables to one’s diet can also help reinforce the transition with necessary vitamins and fiber for a healthy gut biome. The gut biome is very important in the production of amino acids and other building blocks of a healthy immune system that promotes general well-being.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Self Destructive Behavior Programs

Elevation Behavioral Health is a Los Angeles-based residential recovery program that offers behavior corrective services and comprehensive trauma and self harm treatments for individuals with destructive behaviors ranging from substance abuse to suicidal tendencies. Our luxury accommodations in beautiful and serene settings help provide a comfortable and healing environment while patients engage in comprehensive treatment programs geared towards their recovery.  For more information about the program, please contact Elevation Behavioral Health today at (888) 643-7135.