In this post I would like to focus on the link between depression and dreaming, as this is an overlooked element of depression and is often the key to understanding and treating this disorder.
To understand how dreaming is relevant to depression, look at the following cycle of depression which begins with innate emotional needs not being met:
Dreaming is designed to de-arouse unresolved emotional expectations during the day. Of course, worrying about unmet meets constantly generates a lot of unresolved emotional arousal, leading to intense dreaming.
REM sleep is very resource intensive (the brain uses up almost as much energy as when you are awake) so it is no surprise to notice that after intense dreaming, a depressed person often wakes up feeling more tired than when they went to bed.
Lack of motivation in depression
Lack of motivation during depression, a feeling that can make even opening a can of beans an insurmountable task, is directly due to too much REM sleep. This is because emotional expectations are the motivation behind everything we do, from making a cup of tea to writing a thesis.
Our website, lift-depression.com focuses on practical ways to understand and treat depression.
Find out more about dreaming at our dedicated Why We Dream website.