Depression is a serious mental illness that adversely affects a person’s performance and quality of life. Contrary to popular myths and misconceptions, depression cannot be cured by hard physical labor, work, or sports. It is caused by a violation of biochemical processes in the human body. Looking at the patient, it is not always possible to determine that he is sick, because others may not notice changes in the psyche. One of the common symptoms of depression is insomnia.
The effect of depression on human life
Despite the widespread dissemination of information about depression and increased confidence in psychotherapists, many people still consider it a manifestation of laziness, natural pessimism, or an unwillingness to look at life positively. Some people think that “this was not before”, but this is not so. Many symptoms were ignored for a long time, and it was not accepted to seek psychotherapeutic help.
Depression has a number of symptoms that others do not immediately notice. Her emotional manifestations include depressed mood, anxiety, guilt, fear for the life of loved ones, lack of interest in favorite things. A person with a depressive disorder is often subject to gloomy thoughts, including suicidal ones. He is constantly haunted by a sense of his own uselessness and meaninglessness of existence.
Depressive disorder also manifests itself in a number of physical symptoms, and can be masked by frequent colds, heart or stomach diseases. His frequent companion is also insomnia. From gloomy thoughts, a person can often wake up and feel the negative effects of lack of sleep.
Why is depression disturbing sleep?
Proper and healthy sleep is one of the main components of a healthy lifestyle. Even one sleepless night can seriously affect the performance and mental activity of a person. In depressive disorder, the level of stress hormones in the human body increases, which leads to insomnia and problems with falling asleep.
Inability to fall asleep, frequent awakenings, and intermittent sleep are frequent companions of depressive disorder. The less a person sleeps, the worse his health during the day. As a result, irritability appears, a decrease in mental and physical activity, and an increase in blood pressure. When a person cannot fall asleep, gloomy thoughts haunt him, conflict and stressful situations scroll through his head, and nightmares dream. Chronic insomnia can lead to fear of falling asleep. And in the morning a person wakes up broken and tired.
The inability to recover at night leads to a number of unpleasant consequences. The first of these is overeating. The body needs to be restored, and a person is trying to get the missing energy from sweets or coffee. A person with a lack of sleep worsens his attention and ability to concentrate on work. Insufficient rest at night negatively affects the appearance of a person – circles under the eyes appear, the skin condition worsens. Sleep deprivation decreases immunity and increases the risk of colds and infectious diseases.
The most effective way to treat depressive disorders is through psychotherapy. In addition to cognitive-behavioral therapy, it includes drug treatment and recommendations for revising the regimen of the day. People suffering from insomnia in a depressive disorder are advised to go to bed and get up at the same time, do not overeat at bedtime and refuse coffee and alcohol. To normalize falling asleep, it is necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom and refuse to use electronic devices about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Psychotherapy for depression and insomnia
For successful treatment of insomnia, it is necessary to treat the depressive disorder itself. In modern psychotherapy, a number of techniques are used to correct human behavior and normalize conditions for night rest. Among such techniques is stimulus control, in which the patient needs to go to bed only when he feels sleepy. Various methods of relaxation and meditation are widely used.
A full night’s rest also involves revising the rituals when falling asleep, for example, refusing to use a smartphone, computer or watching TV, drinking coffee, alcohol or tobacco, ensuring maximum convenience and comfort of a sleeping place. In severe forms of insomnia, a combination of behavioral therapy and drug treatment is possible.
Depressive disorder cannot be cured by willpower, a change of scenery, or physical labor. Numerous calls to smile, “shake oneself” and think positively do not affect the patient. In addition to pills, psychotherapy is an effective way to treat it. Most often, a combination of cognitive-behavioral and drug treatments is used to treat depressive disorders.
There are several types of treatments for depressive disorders. This is cognitive-behavioral, the purpose of which is to change the patient’s behavior patterns and internal settings that served as a trigger for the development of the disease, interpersonal, aimed at reviewing relationships and establishing new, more harmonious relationships with others, and psychodynamic, focused on resolving the patient’s internal conflicts, which also could become triggers for the development of a depressive state.
The attitude to psychotherapeutic treatment in society is gradually changing. People are less and less associating it with punitive treatment and less and less believe that medications can turn a person into a “vegetable”. The methods of “relaxation” with smoking and alcohol are not able to solve psychological problems, but only exacerbate them. Not everyone is ready to share their problems with relatives or friends, start the disease and do not attach importance to the symptoms of depressive disorder. And insomnia is one of the most serious symptoms of a person’s mental and physical distress. Therefore, psychotherapists take an integrated approach aimed at eliminating the root cause of the violation of the daily regimen and the occurrence of insomnia.