Your Questions About Unhealthy Lifestyle Lack Of Sleep

Daniel asks…

Am I (clinically) depressed or is it just a phase or am I anemic?

A year and a half ago, I had my mom take me to my physician to see if I was at all depressed because I kept complaining about being sad for no reason, headaches, slight anxiety that came and went, lack of enthusiasm and interest in my general hobbies, and my messed up sleeping pattern. Considering my grandma suffered terribly from depression and my mom apparently has issues with it on occasion, we figured there was a good chance I had it. After talking to my physician about my problems, he did a blood test and told me that my hemoglobin levels were borderline low and that I should take iron supplements, which may help my mood.

So I started taking iron supplements. Now, I don’t think I can really say these helped me or not because I’m not a good pill taker and have frequently missed days and weeks. But regardless of my inconsistencies with the iron pills, I still have these awful feelings.

One of these feelings that affects me the most is the immense feeling of guilt for everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. I feel guilty about not having a job even though I’ve applied to many different places without any notice back from them, I feel guilty about not taking something if it was offered to me (whether the person offering the thing cares if I take it or not), I feel guilty if I try my best and fail, I even feel guilty if something bad happens to someone else and I had nothing to do with the situation. For instance, the other day my cat peed on my parents’ bed and I wasn’t anywhere near the scene when this happened, yet I still feel guilty.

Guilt and indecision have greatly affected the way I function, I believe. Just last night, I had a major anxiety attack that not only kept me up half the night, but is still worrying me. I freaked out about my college major thinking and wondering whether I actually liked it or not which lead to a huge argument with myself about what would happen if I changed majors and had to change colleges if my school didn’t have my major. To make a long and complicated story short, I stressed about every single detail and felt guilty for even considering to change majors believing I’d be disappointing my parents and wasting their money. I’m only a freshman in college and I’ve completed only one semester. I know that changing my major now isn’t a big deal at all, but my mind is turning it into one.

I’m fully aware all of my anxieties are in my head. I know my parents always support me and love me and want what’s best. I also know that my close friends are there for me too. However, whenever I do anything or hang out with my family or my friends, I have this nagging feeling in a far corner of my mind telling me they’re only with me because they pity me or that they’re lying to me. Basically something outrageous is being told to me by that little part in my head. I usually just push it away, knowing that if I let it get the best of me, I’d probably lose a good deal of my friends since nobody really wants to put up with a paranoid worry-wart all the time.

This is all just a slight overview of what’s going on with me. There’s a few more aspects, like my lack of a consistent sleeping pattern, that go on in my life, but I basically covered the big issues. I’m afraid to tell my parents about my issues mainly because I’ll feel like I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill and also that my mom will get worked up because she doesn’t to witness the same thing that happened with her mom to happen with me. I figure it may be a lack of vitamins and an unhealthy lifestyle that’s making me feel like this (although the guilt thing has been going on my entire life) or maybe it’s just a stressful phase I’m going through what with horomones and school and career stuff happening all at once (I’m 19 by the way and have been feeling like this mostly since I was 15 or 16). Nonetheless, I have a feeling this isn’t normal, but I haven’t talked to enough people about it to know for sure.

admin answers:

Sounds more like depression, but every good psychiatrist will do some simple blood work to rule that out

Michael asks…

Is sleep apnea a result of obesity, or is obesity a cause of sleep apnea.?

My doctor thinks I may have sleep apnea and wants me to be evaluated through a sleep test. Well, my insurance won’t pick that cost up, and it’s an expensive evaluation. Looking at the machines available, it seems a much more cost effective route to pick up a machine, and if there are no perceived benefits, then just put it away. There are several machines that are much more affordable, compared to the cost of the test.

That issue aside . . . I am in fact overweight. And my neck is thick (always has been, even when I was slender and in great physical shape). So taking into consideration the neck thickness issue. I think my most important hurdle is to get my weight down and manage it, along with a healthy diet, and an exercise regimen.

I realize sleep apnea has a detrimental effect on one’s health, and is said to lead to obesity. But from my understanding most people with sleep apnea are in fact overweight. So is weight a larger contributor to sleep apnea . . or is sleep apnea a larger contributor to being overweight?

I just feel that correcting my unhealthy life choices would be much more beneficial, reduce my chances for heart attack, and other related problems, and the lack of excess weight should relieve a lot of burden on my body including help my sleep.

I realize that it isn’t necessarily one or the other . . that a better lifestyle is what one should always shoot for. I just feel the sleep test is an unnecessary cost as I can buy the machine cheaple in comparison to the cost of the test, and also, if i were to consider taking the test . . wouldn’t it make far better sense to get my weight down to a healthy level before shelling out the $$ for a test that will be swayed by my weight in the first place.

Any flaws in my thoughts on this subject?

admin answers:

Which came first – the chicken or the egg? This is a hard question to answer, as many people with sleep apnea are overweight, but people with undiagnosed sleep apnea feel the need to eat more due to sleep deprivation and lack of energy.
I have many many customers with sleep apnea who are not overweight, and I myself have sleep apnea and am not overweight. Most sleep apnea is caused by a small jaw. It is my opinion that obese people may be the first to be diagnosed due to being unhealthy, and possibly having other health issues.
Unfortunately, it’s not usually possible to cure sleep apnea through weight loss, as even if the weight is shed, the fat will remain in the neck.
Sleep apnea is a serious ‘condition’ so do your best to get that sleep test. Good Luck!

Mark asks…

Are there any healthy foods that actually taste good?

I really want to start eating healthier, but I can’t be eating a salad for three meals a day(plus the dressing is high in calories). I’ve read ‘healthy’ recipes in magazines, but they either look like they don’t taste good, or they won’t fill me up. I am not overweight, but I have noticed that, for example, my hair is really dull and unhealthy from lack of nutrients. Also, when I head to tap class, I feel exhausted before I’ve even started, which I am assuming is from lack of vitamins/nutrients since I do get enough sleep. I could take a vitamin pill, but what I want is to actually change my lifestyle of eating unhealthy foods. But it’s hard when healthy food doesn’t taste good, or the healthy stuff that does taste good is super expensive. Any suggestions? I appreciate any help I can get! ^_^

admin answers:

You do realize salad isn’t necessarily healthy, right?
It’s not that hard to switch to wheat/whole-grain pastas and breads, which you fill you up better than the white counterparts and making your own spaghetti sauces.

Fruits are freaking delicious.
Veggies…Yeah, I still don’t like them. Spinach is VERY easy to add to your food though. To me at least, it has no taste. Tomatoes are good.

Edit:
I don’t really follow this site, but it’s affiliated with FoodNetwork usually.

Http://www.eatingwell.com/

So I don’t think they’d throw out completely BS things.

Lizzie asks…

Are people actually diagnosed with insomnia ‘uncurable’, or what?

I have a friend who’s constantly saying she’s an insomniac. I’ve heard people throw that term around for years, and I’m fairly certain that they aren’t clinically diagnosed, and it’s just a way for them to say “I’m having trouble sleeping”. Sometimes it’s stress, sometimes (in the case of this particular friend of mine) it’s the obnoxious amounts of caffeine and the lack of exercise.

Now, my first question:
Can a person just “be an insomniac for a while”, as in, be an “insomniac” just because they’re having trouble sleeping due to stress or their diet? Or is it something that sticks around with you for awhile?

The reason I ask about it is not only because I’m curious, since it’s thrown around a lot, but because I have a friend who claims to be nocturnal or an insomniac, but she simply has a poor diet and generally unhealthy lifestyle. She takes medication in the morning (supposed to be at 8am, for example, I had to set a phone alarm for her), but forgets a lot because she doesn’t get any sleep at night, or sleeps through it because she doesn’t get to sleep until 6am. She doesn’t eat healthily otherwise, she smokes, and never exercises.

Her medication is for things related to her asperger’s syndrome, as I’m told by her, so I’m not sure myself if it’s related to sleep at all. But if she’s constantly pounding energy drinks and coffee at 2am, of course she’s going to be ‘nocturnal’ and not sleep and feel sick in the morning…

Would this, however, qualify her as an “insomniac”?

admin answers:

My husband’s Ex has had insomnia for the last 14 years at least. She has tried every pill, and probably every combination of pill, as well as electroshock therapy. Because of that she has tried to take her life 3 times. She has had all kinds of studies and sleep studies. Usually she is taking at least 6 different meds at once, and she is also drinking wine with them if they do not work.

It doesn’t sound like your friend is serious about solving her insomnia, if she drinks all that caffeine.

William asks…

When the hell am I going to hit my growth spurt? lol?

Details: I’m 16, 5 foot 10 in a half and weigh 150 lbs. I’ve never hit my growth spurt. But I’ve had consistent growing 2-3inches a year. But a lot of my friends are still taller than me. I had one friends he grew like 6 inches over one summer. But people say to ask my dad when he hit his because thats about when I should hit mine. But he never had his because he smoked cigarettes which stunted his growth and he never got more than 4-5 hours of sleep. But here’s my growth for the last 9 years.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
4’0 4’3 4’5 4’6 4’8 4’11 5’2 5’5 5’8 5’10

Am I not going to hit one and just stay consistent? Or will I hit one all of a sudden and stop? My parents are short though. My dad is 5’9 but he had a unhealthy lifestyle as a child as I noted earlier. My mom is 4’10 and she is Filipino. Though stereotype has it they are all short. But scientifically they are short because of lack of nutrition since she grew up in villages and providences and not the city. The Filipinos I’ve met that have had the good nutrition usually are fair height. My brothers have a different mom but she was short also. But they are 6 foot a piece. My oldest uncle and my grandpa are the tallest ones in our family though. Grandpa is 6 foot and my uncle used to be 6’4. Will extra sleep help? I don’t get much sleep during the school year. only about 6 and half hours maybe. lately since I’ve been off school, I’ve been sleeping 10 hours or so. And I drink 3.5 gallons of milk a week.

admin answers:

5’10″ is a good average height for a 16 year old. Your dad is shorter and so is your mom. You have probably reached your full potential. Your height, in fact, is slightly above average for adult males. My dad was over six feet and so am I, 6’4″, and my brother as well, 6’2″. Our mom was average for a woman, 5’6″. I had to pay full fare at the movies when I was 9 years old or bring my birth certificate. So, unless you want to play in the NBA, I wouldn’t worry about it. I remember my growth spurts. My legs hurt all the time as well as other body parts. As long as you are healthy, try to enjoy your life and have as much fun as you can.

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