Depression - I'd Rather Be Sleeping
"Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." ~The Princess Bride
Life is pain. Or, at least, it can be. I've found that during severe episodes every breath, is, in fact, pain. There is nothing else. Just pain or unconsciousness. I prefer unconsciousness.
Not Sleeping with Depression
We're expected to be awake most of the time. The trouble is, not sleeping with depression is horrendously painful. It is the pain that makes pain scream. And there tends to be nowhere to hide. Depression checks behind rocks, it seems.
And the thoughts or the lack of thoughts that go with that depression haunt every blink. This ridiculous struggle not to die moment after moment. Don't slit your wrists. Don't overdose. Don't jump off a building. It's all so entirely exhausting.
Sleeping When You Have Depression Is Less Painful
But being asleep is different. Somehow, in my dreams, I am never in the agony of depression. Somehow in my dreams I'm normal. I fall in love. I smile. I do the impossible. I feel happy. I have no idea how my brain manages it. But somehow it doesn't register the pain.
And flickering in and out of sleep is almost as glorious. It's just enough unconsciousness to drone out the angry, hateful voices and yet enough consciousness to enjoy it. It's your brain, on sleep.
So I'm Tired, A Lot
And so I find the lure of sleep to be that of a siren. Something that calls to me with inescapable tone. Why would I ever want to live in a world where the air is acid when I can simply lay my head on goose down feathers and close my eyes?
And knowing this, I feel very, very tired. It's true, depression will make a person tired regardless, but I suspect my mind, knowing of the relief of sleep, urges its presence rather strongly.
And while I know it's difficult to get work down or clean the kitchen while asleep, it's so much better than many of the other options. When asleep, my heart, my wrists, my bones are intact. Not getting any better. But not getting worse. And not getting dead. That's something.
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Tracy, N. (2011, October 20). Depression - I'd Rather Be Sleeping, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/10/depression-id-rather-be-sleeping
Author: Natasha Tracy
there's so much going on right now it's crazy yet why do i feel so numb to the feeling of shock, abandonment, boredom , sadness, happiness.. sorrow
66 yr old widower
"Medicine" is just a very educated GUESS!
Glad to come across this "oldie but goodie" post, in the sense that it will always be something people can relate to, and need comfort on. The wrestle of depression and sleep. To anyone in this current place, where sometimes sleep just seems like the easiest path. Be gentle with yourself. Do what you can, when you can, and remember that every little step forward is a huge success and should be celebrated!
I've created my own world in my dreams, made of all the towns I've lived in, and all the roofs I've ever stayed under. There, everyone loves me and I'm very powerful. Here, not so lovely.
sleep is an escape, though sometimes the nightmares of reality intrude. I prefer the worst nightmares I have ever had to the realm of pain I reside in.
Life has always been painful for men. I can’t stand my husband he is cruel but divorce is out of the question! And my family has passed away except for one member who is kind but has never understood me. I have tried to get help however Anti-Depressant have done nothing! All I do is sleep and be thankful that I have no children!
You may need therapy to deal with the tough issues you are facing. Also, if antidepressants are an option for you, you may have to try several before finding one that works.
Unfortunately, if you have a situation in life that is very negative, it's likely you will have to deal with that situation in some way that makes it less negative for you.
Therapy and medication might be able to help with that, however.
- Natasha Tracy
I want to sleep all of the time that I either drink or take meds to put me to sleep.
I'm so sorry you're in that place right now. I know that feeling. I know what it's like to want to do anything to escape -- which is what sleep is, of course. Please work with your doctor to find a way to deal with the pain in a more healthy way. I managed to get through that and I know you can too.
- Natasha Tracy
Thank You for addressing such a difficult topic..
I have been dealing with depression lately and feeling very isolated and alone.
I am currently divorced after after 30 plus years of marriage.
I am in my 60 plus years and it’s difficult to make friends at this age.
I am scared of my future and my finances running out.
This has put me in a very depressed state of mind.
I never planned for this in my life and now I don’t know how to take charge of my life and make it through this painful time...
I am trying to get a grip on this, but I keep falling in a dark place...
Thank You again and hope to hear from you...
That sounds really hard, I'm sorry you're going through that.
I recommend you check out support groups like those through NAMI or the DBSA (just Google them). They may be able to help on multiple fronts.
- Natasha Tracy
I feel when I sleep I'm no longer in pain. Mentally I'm not alone. I don't have anxiety and depression. I don't feel like "Why do I have to be around all these people" because I'm an Introvert (and often hide my uncomfortable feeling around anyone). I feel better in the dark as I fall asleep because im not thinking about things I'll never have. I'm not this loser or broken person no one will want
I know exactly how you feel! I'm 39 and have suffered depression since I was 15. All I want to do is sleep because it's the only time I'm out of pain and a blissful escape from this cruel world. Nobody understands me so I just retreat into my own bubble. I often wish I was never born and that sleeping is the closest thing to being dead as I do believe after death is more blissful and less painful than this world. I have tried to take my life. Sleeping is the next best escape.
I know too well all of your words, and you may be right in that there may be less pain after death. Nonetheless, there are reasons to stay here beyond sleep. There are still wonderful aspects to life. Ther are sunrises, ice cream desserts and friendships. There are waterfalls, guffaws and hugs. I know it's easy to forget about these things when you're depressed but they do still exist and they are still worth being here for.
I hope you're getting help for your depression as it sounds very painful. Don't forget, we have a resources and hotlines page that might help with that: https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…
- Natasha Tracy
I wake up in tears nearly every morning. This is the first time I have ever admitted this to any, other than myself. I've come to the conclusion, that life is all about loss. Loss of childhood, loss of innocence, loss of beloved family members, loss of beloved pets, loss of youth, loss of purpose, loss of interest. It's all loss. I wake up, looking forward to going to sleep at night. I go to sleep as early as possible and I get out of bed only when I just can't sleep another minute. I'm alone a lot, but that doesn't bother me. To get out in the world is to be reminded of just how depressing being 60+ is. The world is changing and leaving me behind. I'm terrified of what lies ahead for me. . death. I don't notice how much the world has changed, if I just stay home. I crochet to gain peace and I have a room full of crocheted blankets, throws, shawls, etc. I used to try to tell people about my depression, but there is no quicker way to lose a friends (another loss) then to mention it or that you are/have been experiencing it for years. So, I hide it. I cry when I'm alone. Nobody wants to know how I REALLY feel, so I hide it. I did try meds for awhile, but they were so expensive, I had to stop, cold turkey. That was the worst part of my life. I decided that handling it myself, was better that medications and their side effect and the price! And so the world goes on and I trudge along with it. I have two forms of release: sleep & crocheting. My best friends are my pets. Not even my husband wants to hear about my depression. so, I feel like I'm constantly 'on stage' with a smile plastered on my face. This is the first place where I've admitted all this.
It sounds like you're in a really tough place right now. If you're not willing to work with a doctor with regards to treatment, I highly recommend you seek out a therapist. It's not healthy to keep everything bottled up with a smile plastered on your face. Things will just get worse that way.
(By the way, medications don't have to be expensive. Generic antidepressants tend to be quite affordable. Talk to your doctor about options. Sometimes they don't take into consideration cost.)
Please seek out some kind of help. Things can get better but you have to reach out.
- Natasha Tracy
Delisa -- I feel for you. I want to sleep all the time, too, and feel like my life has always been like this. Sometimes I feel like being born was this cruel trick. At least you came on here and felt like you could say what you did. It is extremely frustrating when the people around you don't want to listen. I wonder if there are some people who just do not relate to depression. Humor works sometimes, but not all the time. Jeez, it sucks... I don't like getting older, either, and my best friend is moving to another part of the country. Oh, I'm really sad right now. I hope you have some good days scattered in the rest.
Todd--I know exactly how you feel. I see how happy some people are and I wonder what that must feel like. I've been depressed since I was a kid (being in my 60's...that's a long time). I've been happy, briefly, throughout my life, i.e. when my children were born, but the depression always returns. It's a really helpless & hopeless feeling. I have learned to exist, anyway. I've learned to mask it, hide it, deny it, push it aside and go on. It makes for a very long, long, slow life.
Think your a very brave woman for opening up!! I am 39 have a prolapsed disc in my neck that is and has caused me to live in pain.. only time I am not in pain is when I sleep too! Rest of the day headaches and dull aching it’s awful.. COVID 19 has seen my specialist appointments cancelled with no pending date! 😩 good and bad dats are a regular occurrence for me I just want to be pain free!!
Just thank you. I just want to sleep, so I don't feel. Plus I have chronic fatigue. I despise the fact I can't get things done around my home. I just want to sleep my days away.
hi there Natasha, i.m so happy that i run into this post by you. i was speaking to someone a few days back and he told me that he feels so emotional. he sees a lot of sad things happen around him and all he wants to do is sleep so he won't see the sadness anymore. he's tried to commit suicide a couple of times. he's healthy physically, i guess but i feel like on the inside mentally and emotionally he might be really broken. he is also addicted to sleeping pills but it sound to me like he is addicted to the sleep, getting a chance to get away from the world and it's troubles. he used to take a lot of alcohol but he said he isn't addicted to it. i was wondering what you think about that and if you know any help or advise he could get to be and feel much better. thank you!!!!
He needs to learn to make himself happy. We cant change anyone but we can change how we feel
You can't make yourself happy when you are depressed. But you can think of solutions to the sadness around you, and in so doing, maybe get motivated enough to do something about them. Heal the world, and in so doing, heal yourself.
Pavolo, i admire your optimism. Im just having trouble finding a reason to try.
I was riding my motorcycle, heavy weight lifting, complete health nut, in the best shape of my 45 years,
And then, I spent Thanksgiving 7 hours away with my parents, soaked in their sadness and illness, as my Dad is very ill with diabetes, my mom is undiagnosed with her pain, as I am very empathic, i feel everything.
I came back home , packed again and went to Savannah, Ga. to visit family at Christmas.
After that trip, I was hit with a deep depression. Night sweats, night terrors, no appetite.
3 months later, every day feels more hopeless, although my dreams are peaceful, inviting and making me want to sleep.
Hi alexandria.i know the feeling of wanting to sleep all day.i had been doing that.i ended up in hospital where i was encouraged into a routine of being up,breakfast etc.maybe u mite need the same.setting ur alarm and if u dont get up first time snooze it,pull open curtains and lie back let light in.stay with people,are u living with anyone,ask them to check in with u.do everything but stay in bed for more than 8 to ten hours.cry,go for a walk,ring a support line,swim,do something anything other than stay in bed,im not better yet but im better than what i was.wishing you well again.x sarah.
I swear this is how I feel every day. I wish I could just sleep for the rest of my life .
It started in my late teens and now at 32 all I want to do is sleep. I used to Goto nursing school and work three jobs all while enjoying life.
Now I can't even get up to eat. Literally... Can't be bothered to get up to let the dog outside .he usually stays in bed with me.
I don't know how I make it to work or make it awake at all;
when all that I want is to get back into bed, pull the covers up to my shoulders, get into fetal position and cuddle with my dog for as long as possible while being asleep... Be it 8,12, 18 or sometimes over 24 hours on the weekend.
Just to wake up and say to myself "oh my god I just want to go back to bed"
Depression,anxiety, add, bi polar, all mental illnesses are horrible and I wish we received as much empathy as those with physical ailments .
I have just recently decided to not take anti depressants (as of the first week of dec., 2016) because of the sedating side effects being too much to bear. However, even though I know I am getting enough sleep, the siren call of going to bed is so strong for me. I don't know what I should do to combat it. It it best to stay awake and force myself to be productive until an appropriate bed time? I wish I wasn't so tired.
Great article. Yeah, sleep is the best escape with only the "slightly asleep, slightly awake" state being better. In that state you can say NO, I am not waking up, I am just going to indulge myself with this dream or fantasy, whatever and hopefully just fall back asleep. Good night world!
After having my first manic attack at age 56 I find myself wanting to hide under a blanket and doing that every minute I can get away with it. Seems I go locked onto the behavior when I was in mental hospital. Didn't want to deal with the place so I would just lay in bed and daydream. Wishing I would just "wake up" and stop.
I just slep for 2days....getting up for water and food amd straight back to sleep. ....does anyone domthis?
Hi Jodie, Im so dearly sorry and your story is all too familiar.
I can stay in bed for days and days. I drag myself to the shower, brush my teeth, go to the kitchen only to eat 2 or 3 grapes, and drag myself right back to my cozy bed.
To me, it is my safety, my security blanket Ive had for 20+ years, where I can dream, beautiful dreams and hope to never wake up. I legitimately want to sleep forever.
I wonder about peacefully passing on in my sleep, off to heaven, looking down and protecting my adult children. They truly have kept me alive and trying for 18 to 23 years.
After several suicide attempts, a severe eating disorder and an abusive child hood, abusive adult relationships.. I keep my sadness to myself, in fear of judgment.
I am wondering...
is it normal to have sever body aches and stomach pain? As these symptoms feel crippling most days.
I wish everyone the best on this page. I believe there's a reason we are wired differently and we need to focus on a good memory.
I thought I was the only 46 yr old man in the world that got into this stage of wanting to sleep my life away.It actually started in my 20s.Weird thing is everything can be going great and here comes this thing that takes me back down again.I can do great for months and for no reason at all hit a depression for no reason at all!!!WTF I sleep away progress for days...and don't care until I can't dream/sleep anymore. Then I'm shamefully trying to get myself back on track.And yes I do...its a painful cycle and I'm so tired of it.Can this 26 yr repetitivness stop?
I love to sleep. I know it's an escape but it's addicting. I look forward to my dreams as I would the excitement of a movie I've been wanting to come out. The goes by and you try to focus on the world around you, work, making small talk, trying to convince yourself to exercise, but inside your
mind keeps telling you that it's all an illusion and the dream state is the real world- where you're happy and in control. It's so hard to see other people enjoying themselves, going out with friends and all I can do is ask why not me? I've gone down that path of despair and jumped off that cliff, the bathtub is no place to end everything, even if that's the first time you feel strength. I battle everyday that demon and some days are harder than others. It's always there and it always will be, I know that. You have to fight- I know it's like just sitting a hole that's too deep and slippery to claw your way out. That hopelessness is overwhelming and can feel in surmountable. It's a scary place to be on that precipice and most people don't know the pain that drives us there- and that's ok, because I wouldn't wish this on anyone. We are survivors and stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Each day you make it through is one step closer to healing. Just know that we're here for you. Reach out, take just one small step towards the outstretched hands that are waiting to grab you and help to heal you.
I love sleep too. It's my escape! I have no worries when I sleep. Sometimes I will be having an awesome dream and I start waking up and I feel like "no don't wake up....go back to sleep, please." I have no motivation, no energy. I hate to even have to get up to go to the bathroom. If I don't have something really easy to eat like chips or a piece of pizza, then I just stay in the bed and the hungriness eventually passes. I do think of death all the time. I worry about my family members and even myself dying and going to hell. I hate myself alot. I hate that I can't make myself get up and do anything. I just feel like sleeping until I kick the nuvket,. Alright, enough I'm going to sleep. Goodnight!
Everything you wrote I was able to relate to. Everyday I rather be asleep it makes me feel better. Sleep makes me feel happy, with no worries or problems. It's very hard when I'm awake during the day. Thank you for sitting this blog out whatever it is.
I have suffered through depression my entire life, since I was a teenager and I'm 34. It comes in phases. I have extreme highs lows. There are moments where I want to get out of bed and tackle the day and than they are moments where I just shut the blinds and close my eyes. I don't sleep much but I stay in. I have become a bit of a recluse only going out when I have no choice. Life is becoming to much to bear at times. I can't tell anyone because they don't understand. I don't form relationships cause I know I can't emotionally deal with them. I try to have a better life but it's something in my that is not connecting or functioning properly. I'm broken.
please contact me, I feel the same and I hate it
How are you doing right now, Senna?
Well I've been going to my bed almost for 10 years. I now live in Spain. My mother in law got involved in my marriage and said some really hurtful things to me in front of my children. Because my husband brought us to a foreign country and took my oldest girl away in the first 2 weeks of moving here. He was waiting for redundancy for 2 months. My husband just stood there and said nothing. My oldest daughter stayed behind in the UK which devastated me. I've never picked up from all this and blame my husband all the time and it's caused many problems in my marriage. She never apologised. I don't know whether this has triggered my depression off. But when I go to bed my mind rests. I have no energy and even doing small tasks wear me out. I recently come off lorepanzol and it has made me worse. I was a little better on them. I'm very lonely as all my children are grown up and gone back to the UK. I have no friends no car and sit up the house most days on my own while my husband works. He won't go by to the UK. I'm suicidal. Help.
I've very sorry to read that you are in that situation and that you are feeling that way. It sounds like you need to reach out to others and make a positive plan.
See here for our hotlines and resources that may be able to help: http://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referr…
If there aren't resources there for your location, just Google for similar organizations (like the Samaritans, hotlines, and so on) in your location. Believe me, they are out there and they can help you.
- Natasha Tracy
Perfect article.I love sleeping because of the same reason.The dreams I have in sleep make me so happy,it is like I am a king of my own world.I can do anything.But when I am awake,it is depressing.Most of the things are not in my control and life just seems to drag on.
Apparantly depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Depression isn’t your fault. The chemical imbalance occurs when tragetty (I am a horrible speller) happens and a person doesn’t find a way to deal with the situation, doesn’t find an outlet. Like having a car accident and not talking about it, or someone close dying and not being able to properly greive, abuse and never coming to terms with it, etc. However, having had depression from a very young age, where I was 7 and took a bottle of pills because I wanted an end to my life and want to just go home where I was loved (heaven-I believed back then) I realized that dealing with the pain was better then trying to escape it. I realized I was in control of the toughts I allow into my head, I am master and builder of my life. I choose to see the glass half full rather than half empty. Yes, there is beauty in winter.
Life is an insufferable word which causes me and my family misery everyday. My constant conversations with family members coercing me into believing life is worth living, what it would do to people if I were to end it. This is the biggest pain of everything for me personally, being told that something I wish to do can not be allowed to happen just to suit others. Life isnt about freedom or happiness, it's a death sentence in its self.
When I sleep I'm so happy, I have wonderful dreams of my family being together so happy, no worrys no problems, no bills, no job. And I'm free to be free. I think back on my life and haven't done anything with it depresses me, working min wage. No money more problems. I gave up my youth raising my son. My husband is a ass hole, never letting me dream, keeps me from school. he loves to throw me back to reality whitch is getting harder to do now, my son always bring bad notes from school to throw him out. I gave up my youth for them, I think what a waste. When I sleep it goes away. My pain to be alive fades away. It doesn't matter if I get drugs to make me happy or see a doctor. They can't fix me. I try to enroll to school or leave him but he prevents me, with money and my son.
Life is random and everybody's different that have there own individual dreams. but the harsh reality of the world we live in is for most that is all they every will be, only dreams. I grew up in a violent home with alcoholic mom, i have experienced and seen things that have caused me a lot of pain as a young child. My dad was always away working but i believe it was his way of staying away from the abuse my mother did to him. Mom left me and my baby brother when i was ten and my brother was 3. It really hurt me that she ran away. My dad still kept working all the time and my brother was took care of by my aunt, I was by myself mostly and became very sad and felt scared. In my teenage years i started drinking and ended up becoming a nasty person, fighting and getting into trouble a lot. I was so angry all the time. I ended up in psychiatric hospital on numerous occasions and was put on anti psychotic drugs for years that make me feel nothing but numb. When i was 26 i had a daughter and i stopped drinking and have never touched a drop since. Now in my late 30s i have very little, no job, money or friends. People have not forgotten my drinking years and it follows me around under whispers. I do feel ashamed and embarrassed of the person i was. I feel sad and sleep 18 hours a day every day often 24 hours. I never eat just maybe once every two days. The last 3 months i have stopped taken my medication because i cant afford to be asleep because i have responsibility's a daughter! But everything feels worse now. I've slept 36 hours have had nothing to eat for over 4 days. I am going to my doctor later today to basically be put back to sleep with some meds. I wish the doctors could give me a reason why i feel like this. I want to live life awake but its to painful. Sleep is peace but at what cost?
This article is exactly how I feel everyday of my life. It's like when I'm awake I feel trapped with all the painful emotions of life and every breath is painful. So I like to just sleep when I sleep I am happy n don't feel any sadness it's like having all the weight lifted off of me an I can be in love and happy! I can sleep all day if I had the time! I'd rather sleep than go out anywhere!
It is Christmas Eve and I am spending the night alone in bed. I have been depressed for 17 years. I have no friends, and my relationship with my close family only exists because they feed off seeing me sad. I am a very successful business person, and I feel that when they see me sad it makes them feel good.
I am caretaker of my 80 yr old mom,she has always been in bed,I mean 50 percent of her entire live.I remember as a child.mom was in bed all the time.she never went to enroll any of her 11 children in school.she never went to any back to school nights,recently I went to my sons junior year of back to school night,my mom ask me whats that?i have spoken with her siblings recently,and they told me my mom was like that all her life.even when they married and had children,my aunt Fay told me whenever they would go to my moms to visit,they would have to go to her bedroom.can you please help me if there is something I can do to help my mama.
Sleep may seem the ultimate fix to all worries,problems etc.. But in all honesty its a weak way in humility face your demons in reality push yourself to stay strong enjoy the essentials of life and take it all on head first! I'm afraid I won't wake up when I go to dose off and that's a scary thing to think about I'm a warrior I been through storm and still riding it until this day alive and awake
You need a good dose of empathy, Mr. Warrior. [moderated]