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Why Mornings Are So Hard for People With Depression Like Jada Pinkett Smith

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Depression is draining. You can do “nothing” all day and still feel like you’ve been running around and working. Sometimes the mornings are when you feel the most drained or unmotivated, even if you manage to get a full night’s sleep. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith shared how her depression made her mornings an all-day ordeal on her Facebook show “Red Table Talk” with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith, Monday.

“Waking up in the morning was the worst part of the day, and then it would take me hours just to get into [it], so by the time the evening time came, I was at least like, ‘OK, I’m good,” Pinkett Smith said. “But then you go to sleep again and then you gotta restart.”

Many symptoms of depression can make mornings seem unbearable. Sleep troubles and a lack of energy are both classic signs of depression. “Depression is like a heavy blanket on your bed, and you have to struggle to get out from under it,” Mighty contributor Nathalie Spiesser wrote. “I do not know a better way to put it. Mornings are rough because my mind starts going off as soon as my eyes open. Bitter and ugly thoughts enter my head before I can even try to block them.”

Even if you’re able to get out of bed, mornings can be a hectic time for anyone, especially if you have kids, go to school or work. Depression can slow down your thinking, make it hard to concentrate or remember something.

As Pinkett Smith said, nights can be difficult as well, knowing the next day the cycle of depression may restart. This is something Mighty contributor Mandy Contreras, elaborated on in her piece “What It’s Like to Wake Up With Depression“:

I head back to bed early. I have survived this day and many others like it before. I go to bed knowing tomorrow might be better. If not, then I will survive tomorrow as well. Sometimes, this is the best I can do, survive the bad days and wait for the good ones to eventually come back around.

If your depression makes mornings a struggle, there are things you can do to help. You can start with this list of ideas from people in The Mighty community who’ve been there. For some, breaking down their morning routine into bite-sized pieces (sitting up, moving to the edge of the bed, etc.) gets them going. Others use upbeat music or reach out to someone to talk to.

Image via Creative Commons/El Grillo Amarillo

Originally published: December 20, 2018
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