The correlation between mental health and fatigue is rather vague, but the link between depression and fatigue is indisputable. “Fatigue can be a side effect or symptom of a variety of conditions,”. Depressive disorders are those which usually have high levels of fatigue as one its symptoms. Studies have found that people who suffer from depression are three times more likely to experience severe fatigue than their counterparts without any mental illness.
What are Mental Health Issues?
“Mental health problems are common and treatable. They affect the way we think, feel and behave. And they can happen to anyone”. There are many issues that fall under this category such as: anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorder etc. Depression is the most common mental illness that affects the patient’s daily functioning.
Causes of Mental Health Issues:
It is very hard to determine which is the single cause of depression. Tens if not hundreds of factors can contribute to its development. Most commonly, the following factors have been identified:
– Genetic or inherited trait
– Chemical imbalances in the brain
– Environment and stress
– Loss of loved one or a close friend
– Alcohol abuse and drugs abuse
Symptoms of Mental Health Issues:
Symptoms vary depending on the type of mental health problem you have, but may include: feeling down, depressed or hopeless, losing interest in usual activities, feeling irritable, having problems with sleep, eating more or less than normal and feeling tired”. Most often people who suffer from mental disorders also experience fatigue as symptoms.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a “general sense of exhaustion that isn’t the result of physical activity”. Many different factors can lead to fatigue, but mostly it is caused by stress. The patient may feel very tired when they are under stress.
Reasons for fatigue:
Feeling tired, exhausted, sleepy all day long/poor concentration, feeling weak and dizzy spells” are some of the signs and symptoms of fatigue. Depression has been linked to fatigue in numerous studies and in an evaluation done by the National Mental Health Association, it was found that 47% of people with depression also experience severe fatigue.
Correlation between Mental Health Issues and reasons for fatigue:
Depressive disorders are correlated to fatigue because depression distorts the way an individual feels, thinks, and acts. Depression has been described as a state of mind that is low in energy. Fatigue can be considered a symptom of depression. From a biological perspective, “fatigue is linked to the aspect of depression called anhedonia, or a lack of pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.” Fatigue is often caused by decreased levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in specific parts of the brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood and activity levels. When both of the neurotransmitters are low, the brain experiences fatigue. In addition to this, depressive disorders often increase a person’s susceptibility to pain.
Studies have found that people who suffer from depression are three times more likely to have reasons for fatigue than their counterparts without any mental illness. It is important to note that “depression can be debilitating and is much more debilitating than other medical illnesses”. Chronic fatigue is also linked to depression because it is often associated with “a history of physical or sexual abuse as well as experiences of predominately negative life events”.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that depression can cause fatigue. The patient’s biological make up has been altered by the disorder and therefore their bodies work in a different way. It is apparent that depression affects the patient both physically and mentally, but not much information has been released regarding how it alters the patient’s biochemistry. If you or someone you love suffers from mental health issues, seek help! There are many resources available and people who will listen.