As with many behavioural and mood disorders, it is possible that weighted blankets like the SleepForce blanket can act as an aid when dealing with life while also handling mental illness. For depression in particular, those issues that come with the illness, particularly nearly constant fatigue, inability to focus and a lack of perceptions of one’s own abilities can make life remarkably difficult, even with medical treatment. Here, we’ll take a look at Depression, and how a weighted blanket can help make your or your loved ones life easier.
First, What is Depression?
To begin with, Depression is a category of mental illnesses (not just one disorder) that can be part of, or encompass an entire malady, and be either temporary or permanent in nature. Let’s take a look at the 5 biggest categories of depression.
One of the most common forms of depression is the temporary Postpartum Depression, where women who have just given birth may feel extreme sadness, anxiety, and the feelings of emptiness and exhaustion that come with standard depression. It is significantly different than the “baby blues” some women experience after childbirth which can usually clear in a few weeks at most. Post-Partum Depression can often make it very hard for mothers to form attachments to their children, and as a result, put even more negative emotions including shame into the suffering individual.
The most familiar form of depression is called persistent depression, or dysthymia. This type of depression is associated with symptoms lasting over 2 years (which can include “high points” of feeling mostly okay to “low points” of suicidal depression). Overall, dysthymia is characterized by a persistent feeling of emptiness, sadness, or even anxiousness often associated with a total view of hopelessness and guilt. A significant lack of energy (including chronic oversleeping), difficulty concentrating, and pains without clear physical cause can also be primary symptoms.
Psychotic depression is another type which includes the above symptoms, plus psychosis, which can be manifested as delusions, hallucinations, or other sensations that adversely affect one’s perception of reality. This is often a comorbidity with schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder and can be exacerbated by either internal or external stressors.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is also classified as a form of depression, though this one has a slightly different clinical timeframe. Typically seen in late fall and through winter, SAD is typically due to a lack of natural sunshine, more limited social interaction and increased feelings of tiredness can all contribute.
Lastly, Bipolar Disorder can often be classified as a depression based disorder, though it is often classified under its own name due to the fact that people with Bipolar often experience extreme highs and then extreme lows of mood.
In most of these cases, the depression itself is caused by a combination of social, mental and personal history factors. Individuals who have limited social interactions or circles, have lived in abusive relationships, or other mental illnesses are much more likely to suffer from depression, as they can contribute to multiple neurotransmitter and hormonal deficiencies. Some of the most important deficiencies are of Serotonin and Dopamine (which helps calm individuals and is considered the “happy” neurotransmitter, respectively) as well as Melatonin issues which regulate sleep and restfulness.
When it comes to treatment, depression needs to be tackled at multiple levels to be most effectively beaten. Medications such as Citalopram and Wellbutrin are often prescribed to help correct things at the physiological level, and therapy can often aid with behavioural issues which can open doors to handle the social issues. Both of these options are fantastic and should be used in conjunction. Of course, other tools such as a weighted blanket may aid those afflicted with depression to have a better day-to-day outlook. How you may ask? Well, Let’s find out.
How Can a Weighted Blanket Help with Depression
So, if your normal solutions to depression involve either medication or intensive therapies, how can something like a weighted blanket such are offered by SleepForce end up helping out? Well, in two primary ways: By helping regulate the physiological side of things while also allowing for physical cues to relax and engage in comforting behaviour. Weighted blankets can perform what is often termed as “deep pressure therapy” where the weight of the blanket lying upon an individual (either before bed or during the day) can allow for a release of dopamine and serotonin, which during the day can keep someone calm and more stabilized, feeling overall more capable of handling the day, or during the night helping get the body into “sleep mode”, with an increase of melatonin being noted. In terms of improving comforting behaviour, the weight and warmth of the blanket can promote what is colloquially termed as “nesting” behaviours which make an individual feel comforted, safe and able to focus on tasks at hand if relevant to the specific scenario.
What Sort of Weighted Blanket Should I Use for Depression
In short, the sort of blanket you should use depends on what kind you would most enjoy. SleepForce offers a great variety of fabrics and weights to ensure that you can get the ideal blanket for home or office use so you can be the best you possible. It’s encouraged that you investigate all our options to find the best possible match.