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How Depression Is Like Not Getting Sleep for a Week

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Some people say, “Depression is all in your mind. It’s easy to get over.”

There is something they should remember. The mind is one of the most powerful things we possess. Without the brain, we cannot reason or function properly.

When I was 20 years old, I sat in my psychology 101 class and my teacher said something I’ll never forget: “Why do we need sleep?”

A student raised his hand and answered, “To rest our bodies.”

My teacher said, “OK. Say you just lay down in a bed for a week without sleep, when you get up will your body be rested?”

The student replied, “Yea, I guess.”

My teacher continued, “What about your mind? Would your mind be functioning properly as well after not sleeping that long? Would you be able to think straight? Would you be able to work or drive properly after not sleeping that long?”

The student replied, “No.”

Long story short, my teacher was making a point of how sleep is not just to rest your body but more so intended to rest our minds.

OK, now let’s get back to my first statement. Some people think depression is all in your mind. Well, think of depression as someone not getting sleep for a week, but over and over.

Would a depressed person be able to function every day going through something like that? How would they work properly? How would they handle life properly without seeking help?

The mind is one of the most powerful things we possess. If your mind isn’t functioning properly, you are not functioning properly. Think about that the next time you try to tell someone depression, or any mental illness, is all in your mind.

Originally published: August 11, 2016
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