Exhaustion and depression have quite similar symptoms. However, there are some ways to differentiate these 2 conditions. You know, when you have a lot of work that makes you have a lot in your mind, this can lead to lack of sleep or at least you find it hard to fall asleep. As a result, you will get exhausted both physically and mentally. Exhausted people due to lack of sleep can experience symptoms similar to depression. For example, loss of energy, loss of motivation, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

On the other hand, prolonged exhaustion might be a symptom of depression. Because depressed people have sleep issues, whether it is lack of sleep or too much sleep. So, how do you differentiate between depression and exhaustion?

Read Your Body Signal

The founder of the Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine Center, Dr. Alex Dimitriu, mentioned that the main symptom of sleep deprivation that can be clearly seen is extreme sleepiness during the day. Other symptoms are increased appetite, mood changing, decreased libido, and easy to forget. On the other hand, the symptoms of depression include insomnia, lack of energy, decreased concentration, suicidal thoughts, and feeling desperate, guilty, and hopeless.

According to Dr. Alex Dimitriu, the line between sleep deprivation and depression can be blurred, depending on how you feel and experience it. People with depression tend to not care about doing activities, even fun activities. While exhausted people still have passions and intentions to do something. So, according to the psychiatrist, depression tends to affect someone’s motivation, for example, hanging out with friends or going to the gym.

While exhaustion due to sleep deprivation is more possible to affect someone’s energy level or physical ability to do activities. Depression will usually affect some parts of someone’s life and social relationships. Such as social relationships with their family and friends. Exhaustion is generally related to workload. Stress naturally happens in a workspace or home, but in depression, this is more clearly seen.

Track the Symptom Time

Another way to differentiate between depression and exhaustion is the time when the symptoms appear. Symptoms of depression are characterized by a time period of 2 weeks with persistently low mood and loss of interest or pleasure in doing something. This is extreme and does not get any better after a few days. Many psychiatric diagnoses categorize a time period of 4 days to 14 days for each mood episode to count.

If you have concerns that last for a week and affect your life quality, it is best to make an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Different Treatment

Handling exhaustion and depression are different. So, it is important for you to figure out whether the symptoms you are experiencing are the symptoms of depression or just exhaustion. The right treatment will give optimum results. In all cases of exhaustion due to sleep deprivation, whether someone is dealing with depression or not, it is essential to treat and improve the sleep issues first to differentiate exhaustion and depression.

Exhaustion and depression illustration
Photo by geralt on Pixabay

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