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Sleeping to avoid feeling

Community Member

Hi guys. 28 year old. Complex PTSD. Mild anxiety and Major Depression. My whole life I’ve had an issue with sleep. My family and friends while I was in high school use to say I’d sleep my life away if I could. People still tell me now. I work up at 4pm today and I’m still away now (12:54am)  I’ve always had an issue with sleep. Sometimes I find it difficult to wind down others I can fall asleep just fine with a documentary or sleep noises playing in the back ground. I have depression episodes so bad at times go over my sick days at work and end up resigning. Every job I have had I’ve been spoken to about my days off. When I have these episodes all I want to do is sleep to avoid EVERYTHING. I’m on week 3 of 10mg antidepressants (my second go at antidepressants) and since November last year I’ve been sleeping 13-15 hours a day. I’m on uni holidays and haven’t started my new casual role yet as I’ve just moved town. I can’t go to work and focus on uni if all I want to do is sleep. Please. Can anybody help? Is there a diagnosis drs might be able to help me with maybe in regards to sleeping so much? I mean something has to be wrong because I’ve had it my whole life and I’m only noticing now that it’s so bad. Idk why it took me so long to realise I think I’ve always known but have just thought nobody would be able to help. I’ve tried to get into a night time routine and no screen time and reading ect. But no luck I still want to sleep a lot. Can anybody please shine some light on what might be going on or what I can do to help myself please 😞

4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear BG_95~

I've read your other post and also the ideas offered by Tony, who is a pretty sensible guy.


I suspect htere is a strong temptation to regard sleep as just being a means of avoiding hte situations and thoughts you are faced with -and that may indeed be the reason.


However can I suggest you rule out a physical cause before giving what may only be part of the reason? There are conditions that leave a person permanently weary and sleeping a lot, and you never know, part of the problem may be there.


That's not to say sleep does not provide relief, however it may be easier for it not to dominate your life if there is more than one cause.


You also mention you have tried all the usual things ot try to get a sleep rhythm that suits better, even to the extent of no blue screen -which I think is wise.


In my own case I found my mind has been in loops of unpleasant thoughts and not allowed me to relax. I use a free smartphone app called Smiling Mind to break out of the loop, then while in a calmer state some book or audio I have found soothing in the past. It might be worth a try. Smiling Mind has a huge number of exercises, for all types.


Do you have anyone in your life to give you support? Trying to cope on your own is extra hard.





Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi BG_95


It sounds like you're at your wits end and so desperate to find answers. I feel for you so much when it comes to such an incredible sense of desperation while trying to manage mental health challenges on top of that. That's just so much to be coping with.


As Croix suggests, ruling out physical causes can be a good start. Wondering if your GP has suggested a sleep study. You might even gain a more telling result while you're experiencing a period of overwhelming fatigue, as opposed to having the study done during a time where it's not so bad. For example, while someone may suffer from sleep apnea, the number of apneas will be greater under certain conditions. The results will be more telling when it comes to the more physically debilitating periods in their life. I imagine you may have had blood tests done in the past, to try and cross the usual suspects off your list. When it comes to such an intense lack of energy, to the point of physical dysfunction/serious struggle, there can be such a long list of suspects. From vagus nerve function/dysfunction through to a lack of serotonin production in the gut, the list of possibilities become almost endless. Personally, I'm a gal who's faced the side effects of a depressing level of sleep apnea and b12 deficiency, before such issues were rectified.


I think because we're such incredibly complex creatures, the detective work can be so unbelievably extensive when it comes to getting to the bottom of things. While having experienced long term depression from my late teens to the age of 35, I've also managed periods of depression from 35 through to 53 (the age I'm at now). While the 1st half of that was about finding ways to not be depressed (meds, psychological help, alcohol dependency etc), the 2nd half became about developing greater levels of self understanding while detecting a wide variety of reasons for what leads to seriously depressing episodes. The latter half and all the detective work over the years has turned me into a bit of a mind/body/spirit kinda gal and a passionate researcher of a variety of fields. Mentally disturbing factors (including belief systems, inner dialogue etc), physically disturbing ones (including chemical imbalances, deficiencies etc) and even the naturally soul destroying factors on occasion, what all 3 have in common, individually and collectively, is a debilitating and depressing lack of energy at times.


The ultimate questions tend to become 'Why is the energy not there? What kind of energy, specifically, is not there (that I really need)? Why has my energy dropped so significantly to the point where I'm trying to function in flat battery mode? What could be interfering with production? Who or what could be triggering/draining me?' and on it goes. What I've also come to realise over the years is it's not enough to say 'A serious lack of energy is simply a side effect or symptom of depression'. It's been far more helpful to question 'What kind of energy issues have led to such a seriously depressing shift that I can actually feel in a variety of ways?'.

Thank you so much. I’m overwhelmed with your response and will get back to you when I have the words. I mean this in a positive way also. I’m so thankful you took the time to respond. 

Thank you so much. I’m overwhelmed with your response and will get back to you when I have the words. I mean this in a positive way also. I’m so thankful you took the time to respond. I have little to no support and do it all on my own. The support I do have is mostly from friends and their family in small increments. I am grateful but I need a lot more support then what they can offer and that’s okay too we all have our own lives but, yes. Little to no support and do it all on my own.