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How do sleep, interest, and guilt reflect depression?

Avatar Dr. Kyle Bickel Jun 21, 2019

There are a number of very important symptoms to look out for when we’re concerned that someone may have depression. Sleep disturbances are a big one, so people will often report that they’re not sleeping well at night, specifically that they’re waking up early in the morning – what we call early morning waking. That can be a very common sign of depression. Sometimes people will sleep too much – they’ll say they can’t get out of bed even after sleeping for 14, 15 hours. When you probe a little further, you may find that they’re not even sleeping that entire time, but spending a very large amount of time in bed. Interest is another thing we look at with depression. People who used to have a variety of interests who used to love going out doing this and doing that. When they become depressed, they become what we call Anhedonic – meaning they’re not interested in anything. Nothing brings them joy. They have no desire to get out. They have no energy to get out. Guilt is another very common symptom of depression. People will often assume that it’s their fault that things beyond their control are their fault and take the blame in an unhealthy way for many, many things that are going on in and out of their lives.

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