Depression and insomnia are often related conditions. To better understand the link between depression and insomnia, let’s first examine each condition individually.
Depression, often diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder, is a medical illness that affects the way a person acts, feels, and thinks. It can cause feelings of sadness, low energy, weight changes, sleep pattern changes, decrease interest in or enjoyment from previously pleasurable activities, and many other symptoms.
Insomnia is a medical disorder that makes it difficult for a person to fall or stay asleep. There are two types of insomnia: acute and chronic. Acute insomnia refers to a sleep disruption that happens for a short period of time; for example, a person may experience acute insomnia after a stressful event such as the loss of a loved one. Chronic insomnia refers to disrupted sleep that lasts for three months or longer. The insomnia can either be due to another medical or psychiatric condition, or can be independent. Insomnia is associated with a variety of physical and mental issues, and can impair a person’s ability to function properly
Research has highlighted the correlation between depression and insomnia. In a study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, researchers evaluated patients dealing with depression and insomnia to determine if there was a “genuine” relationship between the two conditions, and in fact, found that there was a genuine relationship beyond a simple overlap of symptoms. Their results showed that insomnia treatment may help reduce depression symptoms and that both depression and insomnia symptoms could be treated at the same time.
In a study published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, researchers examined the association between sleep disturbance and major depression. Researchers found that depressed patients frequently experience sleep disturbances that alter the function of the brain’s neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that carry signals to cells across the body. They also indicated that depressed patients who managed their sleep disturbances improved their quality of life and had a decreased rate of depression recurrence.
Does Insomnia Trigger Depression, or Vice-Versa?
Insomnia does not necessarily cause depression on its own, but can often be a sign of clinical depression. If a person experiences frequent sleep disturbances, he or she may be dealing with clinical depression.
A lack of sleep can make it difficult for an individual to manage his or her depression symptoms. The longer a person deals with insomnia, the worse their depression symptoms may become. If depression and insomnia continue to go untreated, an individual may struggle with both physical and mood-related symptoms that prevent them from enjoying life.
How to Treat Depression and Insomnia
Medications and psychotherapy are two of the most common treatments for depression and insomnia. In some instances, patients use both medications and therapy to treat their depression and insomnia symptoms. A variety of therapeutic interventions are available for the treatment of depression, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
A doctor may prescribe medications that help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep or help a patient stay asleep. He or she may also recommend antidepressants to help treat depression if that is suspected to be playing a role. Each medication treatment program is tailored to a patient, and a trial-and-error approach may be required to ensure that a patient can use medications to treat depression and insomnia without experiencing intolerable side effects.
CBT involves the use of a structured program to identify behaviors and thoughts that cause depression and insomnia. It requires a patient to work with a mental health counselor who helps him or her discover the root cause of depression and insomnia symptoms. Then, a plan is developed to help a patient change his or her behaviors and thoughts. Alternative therapies to CBT are also available, depending on what would be best for each individual patient.
In addition to medications and CBT, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is quickly becoming a top choice to treat depression and insomnia. TMS therapy may be performed on its own or in conjunction with medications and CBT to help patients alleviate depression and insomnia symptoms.
A Closer Look at TMS Therapy to Treat Depression and Insomnia
TMS is a revolutionary therapy for Major Depressive Disorder. It involves the use of magnetic pulses sent to the brain which stimulate neurons involved in the regulation and production of mood symptoms, all with the goal of treating the symptoms of depression.
A TMS therapy program requires five sessions per week, conducted over the course of six weeks. Each TMS treatment session lasts 20 minutes, and a patient can resume his or her normal activities after a session. Plus, TMS therapy does not require medications, anesthesia, or electrical shocks, and the treatment’s side effects are often minimal.
Schedule a Depression and Insomnia Treatment Consultation with Achieve Medical Center Today
Achieve Medical Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treat depression, insomnia, and other medical disorders. We offer comprehensive mental health and wellness services for children and adults, and we work diligently to provide our patients with the best care and support. To schedule a treatment consultation with Achieve Medical Center, please contact us online or call us at (858) 427-5060.