Why are the mornings so bad? - Mental Health Sup...

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Why are the mornings so bad?

RoboMark profile image

I'm wondering of other people find depression and anxiety worse in the mornings? When I get up, I usually feel pretty bad - I often end up just stuck in front of the TV or sitting in silence for a couple of hours, until I can pull myself together enough to start the day. And that's on a good day. When it's really bad, I'll lie awake in bed thinking about engineering my own death in gruesome and precise detail, playing it over and over again in my mind, then when I get up I feel like I've been run over and literally can't walk in a straight line! But as the day progresses I always feel better, and come the evening I'm always feeling OK. All the problems are still there, the grief, guilt, fear about the future etc. but they just don't seem so important, and I'm always convinced tomorrow will be fine and I'll be back to normal again. Fat chance. It's like 'Groundhog Day', same thing all over again.

I can't think why this happens, I don't drink or do drugs, and always go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at the same time each morning. Does anyone else go through this, and if so how do you cope - it's starting to wear me down. I can't say I fancy going through 20 or 30 years of this hell.

30 Replies

Feeling depressed in the morning, and improving as the day wears on is a classic symptom of depression. It's called ‘diurnal variation of mood’.

Along with early morning waking, lack of energy, and poor memory and concentration, it is a characteristic of depression and this symptom forms part of the diagnosis.

Always consult your own GP with any health worries

What I would recommend is some basic checks. It is vital that you have a blood test to help assess your thyroid function, vitamin B12 levels, kidney function, blood sugar and liver function.

If any of these are abnormal, they could cause symptoms that can be confused with depression or they can reduce the effectiveness of the antidepressant drugs.

Even minor abnormalities of the thyroid gland, for example, will reduce the chance of antidepressants having their full effect.

If these tests have not been done, raise it with your GP at your next appointment.

There are also other medicines that can be added to improve your sleep quality. For example, my psychiatrist decided to add mirtazapine, taken at night for it's sedative effect.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is much talked about these days. Research shows it is helpful in this type of condition.

The treatment involves five to ten sessions with a psychotherapist, working at changing the way you react to your circumstances.

I suggest you read a book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by David Burns. It may inspire you and may add to the sense of optimism, which I hope I am conveying to you :)

Thank you, I didn't realize that this could be classic depression, I just thought it was something rather unique to myself. I do have a real problem with concentration and memory as well, which I never had before this kicked off.

I have problems talking about myself and my issues, especially with doctors, but as you say, if this has a more physical cause then that's something I need to address. I haven't been to a doctor in years, mostly because when you are a carer, your health always takes second place to the other person's. That situation has changed but it's still going to be a struggle to go and see a GP. Also, in the UK we don't have much in the way of regular health screening for men regardless of age (and none in Wales where I live), so for a lot of people like myself, going to a doctor is a big deal. But I probably do need to get some help.

Funny you should mention that book, I picked up a copy second-hand recently, looks very interesting, especially the parts where you can self-assess your condition. That might help me in going forward with some treatment.

DMM218 profile image
DMM218Ambassador in reply to RoboMark

See your GP- if you find it difficult talking write down some of your symptoms and start off with the list. GPs deal with lots of people who have depression. 1 in 4 people will have mental ill health during their lifetime.

DMM218 profile image

As black cat says I totally agree. However, bit worried about your health given what you say about wishful death thinking. I know what that's like. But, it can be a slippy slope so take care and talk to someone, ideally your GP about how you are feeling. I get that what you want is the emotional pain to end and ideas of suicide are a logical way of doing that when everything else doesn't work.

But keep trying other things and thoughts. All things pass, life is all about change, even if we can't help feel stuck. The actual nature of the world is constantly evolving. So, at some point in the future you will feel differently. Hang on to that thought.

Get help now as without it the tomorrows aren't going to be different. Remember depression is an illness. You are feeling like this because your body is trying hard to draw your attention to some underlying problem. So make appointment with GP today not tomorrow. Take care and let us know how I are doing.

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to DMM218

The thing about suicidal thoughts, as far as I am concerned, is I know they are just thoughts and I don't intent to act on them, at least for as long as I can maintain a rational state of mind. I don't know if that's going to last, though, sometimes, I feel like my mind is splitting apart, it's as if I am living in two different realities simultaneously, like being on both sides of a mirror. Weird, huh? Maybe I just need to pull myself together (ha ha).

I think that in some ways, it has actually helped me to think about death rather than just act impulsively, as you realise just what the consequences of these actions can be. These thoughts do wear you down, though.

Will this pass, will anything change.. I can't see that happening any time soon, given my situation but I suppose anything is possible.

DMM218 profile image
DMM218Ambassador in reply to RoboMark

The problem is the longer you think about it - the more normal that thinking becomes, eventually it gets so common a thought you lose perspective on it. I'm not saying you are wrong to think like this - as said before logically it's your mind looking at alternative options to end emotional pain. But if you can do other methods of mind numbing distractive thinking then please try that. If you can read anything at moment try a self help book on depression. There are therapies out there that do work. It's going to take time but you can do this with the right help and support.

Personally, I've been there. It's scary. Your mind does play tricks on you. That's either a symptom of depression itself (circular thinking) or your body telling you it's in trouble and need help. The alarms are going off in your head but you are ignoring them. Please speak to GP. Keep posting and keep getting advice and support.

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to DMM218


dumped profile image
dumped in reply to RoboMark

hi I go through Exact same thoughts

So mad at myself. Results in self hate and hopelessness. Think about it like you described, yes. Actually a lot since my depression/sadness started. But wont do it, no way.

Yes this is me nearly every single day for the last 5 years! not as bad now that I am currently unemployed but still there sometimes, and when I was employed I was really bad. Faked so many sickies etc. Its the worst. not sure what I can do either??

DMM218 profile image
DMM218Ambassador in reply to Rachms11

You're not faking a sickie if your ill with depression but it's hard if people not sympathetic to your condition to be honest. Hoping mental health is getting viewed better these days.

it is very common for depression to be worse in the morning and then lessen as you go through the day

One reason for this may be that the link between motivation and action actually gets switched as part of depression. Normally we want to do something so we act. In depression this seems to reverse so we need to do something and then the motivation comes.

Might be an idea to try starting off the day with something other than sitting in front of the tv.

If depression is due to an underlying physical condition - such as thyroid or B12/folate deficiency - then the symptoms tend to get worse as you go through the day.

Depression is, for me, far worse in the mornings and, like you say, I feel almost normal come evening time. But go and see your doctor as your symptoms are so severe. Keep us posted.

I Always find it to be the opposite in that i feel more depressed during the night and more irritable throughout the day,(and normally get random suicidal thoughts throughout the day and night)

The urge too cut varies from day to day but have gone 3 weeks without cutting so its all good.

At the moment im not getting either so my mood seems to be good at the moment back to dieting, and just generally feeling pretty good mentally atm, so guess my mood is on the up again even people around me say i seem more relaxed etc.

Have no idea why just do ,good 10 months crappy 8 mo ths good 3 months crappy 9 months now seems to be a good month its like being on a roller coaster.

Ok ive probably gone off subject along the lines but yeah 👍

DMM218 profile image
DMM218Ambassador in reply to CJ2016

It's interesting to hear your experience as I can have months when I'm fine and then months when I'm not. Though I can see the bad months had a trigger at the start.

Not cutting for several weeks is a huge achievement. Self harm can get into an automatic response almost an addiction so having any free period is impressive.

Take care

CJ2016 profile image
CJ2016 in reply to DMM218

Thank youYeah the "mood swings " suck cos when im down all the work ive done when im feeling good 2 lose weight piles back on, plus the suicidal thoughts isolation etc etc just sucks.

When your feeling good then its just a good feeling really even in crappy situations you just still oddly feel good .

DMM218 profile image
DMM218Ambassador in reply to CJ2016

Sometimes you have average it out over the year. That way your perspective isn't squewed by the up and downs. Like feeding a toddler, some days all chicken, next it's peas and potatoes- but it evens out over the week.

CJ2016 profile image
CJ2016 in reply to DMM218

At times it feels more down then up but meh im still here .

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to CJ2016

I'd say that you and I have completely different types of depression, mine was triggered 2 years ago and before that I didn't really suffer with it, since then there have been no ups, just an unremitting state of being down. Not sure what's worse though, you sort of get used to it if it's a constant thing in your life.

CJ2016 profile image
CJ2016 in reply to RoboMark

Ive always had the suicidal thoughts etc since 13/14(29 now) but the down when i am down feels worse then what it did then.

The cutting came later in life.

Given the choice i would choose the ups for the feeling of just being energised and just having an unexplainable natural buzz.

But it all comes crashing down and with each come down,at times it feels as though you go in to a darker place.

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to CJ2016

My teenage years were no picnic either, had a very bad time then, breakdowns and self harmed, but the depression lifted and didn't affect me much from my early twenties on (I'm 52 now). I am grateful for having had some good years, I suppose they were my 'ups'.

dumped profile image
dumped in reply to RoboMark

teenage years tough for me too. Do think back to those times when in sad moments.

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to dumped

I try not to think about when I was a teen, nothing good happened then. Dad died in a psychiatric hospital, Mom had anorexia, and I was drunk most of the time. Perhaps these experiences affect you more as you get older.

dumped profile image
dumped in reply to CJ2016

weird how our minds pick some destructive choice option. You cutting. Me hanging. But, not gonna do it. My mind has just been going there since Ive been dumped.

I also have the same problem. I don't even want to get out of bed. I have had treatment resistant depression for over 30 years. I don't know how I have lasted this long, how I have accomplished what I have, anyway, my therapist says that you have to take care of yourself first and he is right, so I suggest to you to check out Dr Kim Deramo on you tube and try EFT and her morning ritual and it is free. It helps me when I can actually get out of bed and do it. All the best

I will look into that, thanks. Can't say I fancy another 28 years of this, so I'm determined to do what I can to improve my situation before things get out of hand.

Hi RoboMark. I'm new to this site. I too have severe problems in the mornings. This is a the first week in over a month that I haven't missed a day of work. And I beat myself up over it (mentally) all day because I know if I could just force myself I will feel better once I'm at work and around people. It's crazy. It's a vicious cycle and very draining. I can have a good day (which just started recently) and feel like, "Ok, I've got this, I can beat this". Then I wake up the next day and feel awful. I will say that two weeks ago my Dr. upped my Zoloft to the max of 200 mg per day plus added Lamo-something (a lithium) and I am having the feelings of "break-throughs". Like even happy & motivational feelings at times. But then when I wake up it can be crushing all over again. I see the Dr. again on Oct. 4th. Hoping I'm better by then! I have suffered depression & anxiety for many years, since I was about 19 and I'm 41 now, almost 42. My main trigger more recently, was a bout of Post Pardum Depression after I had my daughter in late 2009. Then a few days after she was born, my mother (my very best friend) was diagnosed with Lung Cancer which metastasized. She fought for a year, mainly because she wanted to badly to enjoy my daughter, her first grand child. She passed in April, 2011 and come July 2011 I knew I needed to get back on meds. I was put on Cymbalta. Got pregnant in early 2012, had my 2nd daughter in Oct. 2012 and Bamb, post partum depression again. I was depressed my whole pregnancy but it got worse. Anyway I stopped my Cymbalta - cold turkey in May of 2013. I was convinced it wasn't helping and then I felt like a junkie going through withdrawals and felt guilt that my being on the Cymbalta is what caused my 2nd daughter to have colic for her first 4 months. THEN...on September 4th 2013 I found out my husband (now ex-husband) was having an affair with a girl that could have easily been his daughter - she was that young. To make matters worse I found it started shortly after I got pregnant in 2012! Of course it was my fault because my depression made me distant and un-affectionate and I wasn't giving him enough attention. He said he was willing to take his share of the blame for the marriage ending but I had to as well. I guess I have, I mean to a point. I can see where it drove him away, but not in bed with a young wh***. I don't like myself most days, so would I expect anyone else too??

Anyway, my apologies for the long book. Seems I've really been struggling for the past 11 months (again). But the whole morning thing is new, like over the last few months. And I've never missed so much work in my life. I feel like a big phonie.


I am sorry that you lost your mother, you should have had many more years together. My mother passed a couple of years ago, after a long period of ill health which I found very difficult to cope with, seeing her suffer so much. Since then, I've had this problem with depression (or desolation, as I often call it) in the mornings. My mother was also my best friend and losing her has been very difficult to come to terms with, especially as I feel I should have done so much more for her. I think her death plays a big part in the cycle of depression I go through daily. We'd always talk in the mornings, plan the day ahead etc. and I think subconsciously I still expect to do that when I get up, then the realization that she isn't there triggers the initial depression. I also always feel worse after a bad night, when I tend to get really weird and disturbed dreams which she often features in.

It's odd that it seems to improve as the day progresses though, sometimes it lifts completely and I think I'll be back to normal again tomorrow if I can just get a good night's sleep. Never happens.

I'm self-employed and I work in IT from home, so some days are very isolating but like yourself, if I have to go out and meet people it seems to help even though I really don't enjoy being around others very much now. I know other people don't care for my company either as I'm not much fun to be around these days.

It has helped a little to identify the psychological triggers for this, perhaps you may have similar triggers since people you were close to are no longer around. Best of luck anyway, hope you don't suffer with this for as long as I have.

I do think it's true to feel worse in the morning, I try to get up and go for a walk, I don't always want to, but it motivates me.

RoboMark profile image
RoboMark in reply to Florida1959

Yes, I try to get out as well, I find it helps a lot. Weather permitting, though!

The death of anyone is super tough, and life doesn't prepare you for it really, my mum was my best friend too, after many years of struggle we became best friends 12 years before she died, I lost her and dad within 10 weeks of each other, and whilst their suffering has ceased, I was left without a purpose, if that makes sense? I had looked after them for 4 years, and many friends faded away, as I couldn't dance to their tune any more, even the boyfriend! I have lost one best friend, and my brothers best friend died last month, I am looking for ways of branching out, but slowly, somfir now it's day by day fir me, I do work but am unhappy, which I have finally acknowledged. I am looking at diet, vitamins, as an alternative to better health. This forum has been a blessing the last week, I feel supported. Cyber Hugs to all of you x

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