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What is morning depression? | 26th July, 2017

Morning depression is a symptom experienced by some people with major depressive disorder. With morning depression, you may have more severe depression symptoms in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. These symptoms can include extreme sadness, frustration, anger, and fatigue.
Morning depression is also known as diurnal variation of depressive symptoms or diurnal mood variation. It is different from seasonal affective disorder, which is related to changes in seasons. Experts used to consider morning depression as a clinical diagnosis on its own, but now they consider it one of the many possible symptoms of depression.

Causes of morning depression
A 2013 study found that people with depression often have disrupted circadian rhythms. This disruption is one of the main causes of morning depression.
Your body runs on a 24-hour internal clock that causes you to feel sleepier at night and more awake and alert during the day. This natural sleep-wake cycle is known as the circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm, or natural body clock, regulates everything from heart rate to body temperature. It also affects energy, thinking, alertness, and mood. These daily rhythms help you keep a stable mood and stay in good health.
The rhythms of certain hormones, such as cortisol and melatonin, help your body prepare for certain events. For example, your body makes cortisol when the sun rises. This hormone gives you energy so you can be active and alert during the day. When the sun sets, your body releases melatonin. That hormone that makes you sleepy.
When these rhythms are disrupted, your body starts to make hormones at the wrong time of day. This can have a negative effect on your physical health and emotional well-being. For instance, when your body makes melatonin during the day, you may feel very tired and irritable.

Symptoms of morning depression
People with morning depression often have severe symptoms in the morning, such as feelings of sadness and gloom. However, they feel better as the day goes on. Symptoms may include:
  • trouble waking up and getting out of bed in the morning
  • a profound lack of energy when you start your day
  • difficulty facing simple tasks, such as showering or making coffee
  • delayed physical or cognitive functioning (“thinking through a fog”)
  • inattentiveness or a lack of concentration
  • intense agitation or frustration
  • lack of interest in once-pleasurable activities
  • feelings of emptiness
  • changes in appetite (usually eating more or less than usual)
  • hypersomnia (sleeping longer than normal)
Karen Arthur/ghanahospitals.org

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