Oh No. More Depression Naps

The irony of my recent post about unnecessary sleeping in the form of depression naps is glaringly obvious. Yesterday, I got up at 6, took care of Stella’s morning routine, then took a four-hour nap. Then, I fell asleep at 7pm, woke up at 2am still wearing my clothes, took my meds and brushed my teeth, then went back to sleep until 6. Big oops.

At this point, I don’t think I can still use the “I’m tired from traveling” excuse, much as I would like to. Sleeping too much is, for me, a big indicator of depression. I’m really hoping this is a fluke and not the ketamine wearing off. If it’s the latter, that would make my time between maintenance infusions about three weeks, which is a little short for my liking.

I had errands to do today, which I managed to do after an entirely too-long nap. I’m putting my foot down. Time to drag myself outside and go for a run, because you can’t sleep if you’re moving. Curse you, depression symptoms!

Update: My run was lovely, despite stepping in an icy puddle and getting my socks wet. Also nearly ate it on some ice deceptively camouflaged with snow. It definitely woke me up. I saw some cute dogs, though, and the mountains were pretty. All in all: would recommend, minus the puddle and the ice.

grey cat in sunlight yawning

My Depression Naps are Unnecessary (Shocker)

Over the last week, I have taken a grand total of one nap. ONE. This is grossly reduced from my usual minimum of six depression naps per week, each spanning roughly three hours. I cut back on naps this week because I was spending time with my family, instead. Between running errands, cooking, cleaning up, and catching up, there wasn’t much time to sleep during the day, and if there was, I prioritized family time.

The week is over, and I’m learning that I’m capable of being more active than I feel I am. My depression and the medication I take to treat it make me tired, and I might need a whole ‘nother week to recoup from this napless week, but I can function without naps. I think I should take this to mean that doing more is more sustainable than I thought.

I’ve been nervous that adding activities outside the house would be a disaster, because how could I go out and do stuff when I sleep for three hours every afternoon? This is probably a cart and horse problem; I’m worried that I won’t be able to fulfill my commitments if I still feel the need for excessive sleep. But perhaps adding more commitments to my schedule will make me less depressed, and therefore, I would sleep less. There’s bound to be an unhappy medium in the middle, but it would probably settle out eventually. In (wildly simplified) essence, be tired and have nothing to do, do more and briefly be more tired, then be a normal amount of tired and have fun doing whatever you want. This is something that everyone in my life has been saying forever, but sometimes it takes a while for you to come to the same conclusion, right?

A large part of my robust depression nap schedule is due to the lithium I take in the morning. However, I’m sure that another part of it is, at this point, a habit. My brain has learned that every day at the same time, we go to sleep for a few hours. It’s come to expect it. Breaking out of that habit is tough, but if I eliminate that and reduce my depression as much as possible, I’ll be left with just the lithium tiredness. That’s manageable, and as I’ve learned this week, very possible to function with.

Before I was even taking any medication, I slept as an escape. I went to bed before dinner because I didn’t want to be awake anymore, and I took long naps because I couldn’t stand the feeling of experiencing an entire day. Maybe this was what I needed, for a time. It helped me face my existence in more manageable chunks, but then it spiraled into something more damaging. I’m not going to stop taking naps entirely. I feel best when I give in and curl up on my bed for a few hours, sleep it off, and wake up partially refreshed. But I’m also going to remember that I don’t have to do that.