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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is sleeping too much is a symptom of clinical depression?

    Hi,
    I am 25 yr old male. I feel low mood all day and no appetite for food plus I sleep long hours even up to 15 hours a day. I don't really sleep all that time, half of the time I am awake but don't want to get up just force myself to sleep again. I have a serious alcohol problem at the same time and trying hard to get out of it. I had a detox and stopped drinking completely for one month while taking some medicines called Campral and Naltrexone. I don't take those medicines any more and started drinking again. Now I am confused which is my real problem Alcohol, Depression or Social Anxiety (Shyness). Which one should be eliminated first?
    Thank you
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    Dr Louise Shepherd

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a clinical psychologist with 15 years experience working with all sorts of goals and issues. I love working with people, helping them to … View Profile

    Well done for not drinking for a month. That is excellent. It can be a pretty powerful thing to give up or cut back on so well done. It also shows that you can stop drinking completely because you already have…..for a whole month! 

    I guess I'd suggest that it can be tricky to work out what is the chicken and egg and which to “eliminate first” so to speak- I'd suggest it is probably more helpful to consider thinking of it in terms of what thoughts and feelings are difficult for you and that you struggle with - and what you do to get away from feeling bad. Maybe the drinking helps to get away from feeling bad, at least for a little while. Problem is, for many people, that it creates other problems and isn't that crash hot a solution in the long run!

    You might be interested to learn more about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and there is a great book recently published - http://www.amazon.com/The-Wisdom-Know-Difference-Acceptance/dp/1572249285 - that may be of interest.

    As for the question about sleep. Sleep can be another way to escape feeling bad. So sometimes people stay in bed too much as it is too hard getting up and facing life….at least that is what your mind might be telling you. 

    With a major depressive episode often people find it hard to sleep and lose their appetite too…..but for some people the opposite can happen so that they do in fact tend to sleep more. 

    Hope some of that helps. I'd suggest seeing a health professional may help to guide you in this stuff.

    Take care
    Louise

  • 1

    Thanks

    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    As somebody who is in remission from both alcohol addiction and depression I can relate to what you have written.

    For my, with alcohol, I have found that “one day at a time” is the way to go.

    Eg, if I get an urge to drink I will say to myself “Tomorrow I will get smashed out of my mind. Not today though, today I will be sober.”

    And then “tomorrow” I say the same thing to myself…

    As far as depression is concerned, I definitely endorse Louise's suggestion of seeing a health professional (a psychiatrist and/or a clinical psychologist).

  • 1

    Thanks

    Renee Mill

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Empowering people is my passion and life work. I have been working as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice for over thirty years. I have … View Profile

    In my experience, becoming abstinent from alcohol is the number one priority. I have seen the best results from AA (alcoholics anonymous). The support of the group, daily contact with a sponsor,regular meetings, and tools to get you through have been proven to work over decades. 

    Once you are "clean", it will become clearer which symtoms arose from the alcohol and which need to be addressed by medication and/or psychotherapy. I recommend consulting with a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist for an evaluation and treatment plan.

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