What’s normal energy levels?
I’m asking because I have chronic depression. I feel like my normal is everyone else’s bad day lol. My goal is to get myself to normal if I’m not already there but I need a clear image of what that is.
Here’s my current normal:
Most days I can do one major task only before fatigue sets in.
Like: cleaning, visiting my kids, going to the bank...
If I nap mid day I can do two without fatigue.
I can only do one hour max with other people. So like if I go to the grocery store- that’s it, I’m spending the rest of my day exhausted.
If I stop moving for any longer than maybe 10 minutes I’m exhausted. So if I’m cleaning and stop to eat- I’ll wind down fast and feel exhausted. so I have to use a bridge to keep my mind busy such as watching a show while eating so I can finish cleaning.
When fatigue sets in I’m irritable and angry, extremely sensitive to light and sound, my body will suddenly feel sore everywhere. My heart will race as if I’ve run a marathon. I can’t focus or hold a conversation and It’s torture to talk on the phone. I literally need to find a dark quiet corner just to feel okay. This is my good day btw- So what’s normal?
- RWPossumLv 74 months agoFavorite Answer
Here's something strange about depression. It makes us want to do the opposite of what we should do to get better. To get better, we should be active and social, getting out and about, getting exercise out in the sunlight and fresh air, and spending time with family and friends, doing the things we usually do, as close to normal as possible.
Instead, we want to sit alone in a dark room, doing nothing ! How come???
There's a theory from a clinical psychologist at the Univ of Kansas that explains this. It's the idea that because our prehistoric ancestors didn't get depressed (which seems likely because of what we know of hunter-gatherer tribes) we haven't evolved good instincts for dealing with depression. Our systems treat depression as if it was a cold or the flu.
The thing to remember is that although depression creates a sense of fatigue, it's not real fatigue. We have as much energy as we do normally, but our systems are reluctant to let us use our energy. It's like trying to get money from the ATM if we've forgotten our PIN.
We have to coax energy out of our systems. Psychology has some nifty tricks for this.
I'll tell you about these, also a program developed by that U of Kansas guy, but I'm not saying these are all you need. They enhance the standard treatments for depression with office visits. I'll give you info about them too.
Remember that you don't have to be an athlete to benefit from exercise. As little as 20 min brisk walking a day can help, and you can add to that gradually so long as you don't make yourself sick of exercise with too much and quit.
This is a motivation trick that's been used in behavior modification programs since the 1930s. If a task seems like it's too big, think of it as a series of tasks that you can take on one at a time, and start with something really, really easy. Cleaning - start by cleaning for 3 or 4 min and take a 5 min break. Or start by just cleaning the kitchen counters. Short breaks are good but always watch the clock.
A famous psychiatrist said that when we can't control our feelings we can still control our muscles. If you tell your arms and legs to get you to the bathroom for a shower or outside for some healthy exercise, they will obey.
Try this when it seems that you're too tired to work. Lie on the couch, close your eyes, and get ready to work by imagining yourself working for 5 minutes. Again, think in terms of taking it step by step and starting with something really easy.
If you go to Metapsychology, you can read a psychologist's review of Dr Steve Ilardi's book ("a splendid book").He's the therapist and researcher who headed the Univ of Kansas lifestyle-depression project.
The beauty of self-help is that you have a variety of low cost, low risk things that can be combined with each other, and with standard treatments with office visits. While it's not clear at this time that any one of these things is as effective as an antidepressant, it's common sense that if a variety of reasonably good things are combined with each other, they will have considerable effect.
Of all the basic lifestyle choices, the one with the best evidence is exercise, and you don't have to be an athlete to benefit from it. Research shows that when people suffering from depression go for long walks with family or friends, this is very therapeutic (source - the lifestyle-depression project at the University of Kansas). Things that take your mind off your problems for a while, like a funny movie, are helpful, as long as you don't let them dominate you.
Of all the traditional mind-body practices (meditation, tai chi, etc.), the one with the best evidence for affecting mood disorders is yoga breathing. Slow breathing is used for treating anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and PTSD. It's safe and it doesn't take any training. You can find out about the work of psychiatrists Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg and PTSD therapist Emma Seppala in my recent answers.
Again, don't forget the standard treatments. Info about a variety of good things here, under DEPRESSION TREATMENTS.
- thesunLv 64 months ago
It's because you don't have a passion for anything...the lack of motivation you have is no one else's fault but your own...it's entirely up to you..your reward comes from effort... no effort..no reward..wake up to yourself and stop being so lazy...