Depression and Sleep

Depression will affect about sixty to seventy percent of the population in a meaningful clinical way, at some time during their lifetime. Symptoms manifest differently between men and women. It is near impossible, during brief conversation, and to know whether a man is depressed. Why? Because men hide things very well. They don’t share their pains. Men are less likely than women to share their feelings, which is not necessarily a good thing, in the long term.

Lack of sleep is a leading cause of depression. Lifestyle can cause it. Those without proper sleep hygiene, will inevitably suffer from depression, at some point.

We do this to ourselves. We do it in school. We do it in the work force. “I’ve got to get this sales presentation done, so I’m going to stay up until three or four o’clock in the morning and still get up at six to go to work.” The lack of sleep will cause depression. Lack of sleep will cause death. Lack of sleep will cause concurrent illness. Lack of sleep is one way that we can make ourselves depressed. Sleep is one of those things that we have to respect.

Two thirds of the visits in an average doctor’s office are by women. Men do not want to go to the doctor’s office. They get ill more frequently than women do, but are treated less frequently.

Depression is very common. How does it manifest? It manifests in a number of different ways. Men tend to consume alcohol as coping mechanism. Alcohol seems to relieve depressive symptoms, or at least makes them more tolerable in men, but women usually eat.

Men drink, women eat, and oddly enough cigarette smoking seems to hit both of them about the same way.

How do you deal with depression? How do you diagnose it? It’s the inability or the lack of reasonable ability to be happy with what you’re doing, who’s around you, and the sorts of activities that you’re doing. We may call this anhedonia, or lack of pleasure. This is the first stage of depression.

“What happened? I used to enjoy this. I don’t enjoy it anymore.” “I used to do this activity. Now I no longer feel like going out onto the golf course.” “I no longer feel like going out and going to plays or going to movies or going to whatever you’re going to do.” Anhedonia’s very common.

Crying and emotional outbursts usually happen late in the game. When you see women crying, they are already seeking help.

The sneaky ones are the men. They are far more likely to succeed in violent suicide are women. It is the guy that is going to blow the top of his head off. The women, they don’t want to look ugly in a coffin. That is the way that these things work.

My advice to people is this: when the sun goes down, get ready for bed. It seems simple enough. Benjamin Franklin had it right, early to bed early to rise. We all know the way these things go but very few people exercise it. At nine or ten o’clock at night you should be asleep. It’s just that simple.

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