"Depression Naps" Are a Thing—But Here's What You Should Be Doing Instead



Anyone who has spent time on Twitter lately has likely read about #depressionnaps. People usually take these naps to escape emotions, surrender to depression, and temporarily avoid anything negative in your life—and while the connotations are serious in theory, Twitter users have quickly escalated depression naps to meme status.

According to Daniel Amen, MD, a psychiatrist and best-selling author, depression is a common problem among women especially. He says that “20% of teen girls meet the clinical criteria for depression and 23% of women [are] taking antidepressant medication.” Admittedly, it is tempting to escape our problems—but is it the right thing to do?

If you have ever taken a depression nap, you are probably familiar with that crushing realization upon waking that your problems are still there. Depression naps can even make the problem worse. Jessica Renz, Psy.D., co-founder and licensed clinical psychologist at MindWell NYC, says that depression naps aren’t the answer. They prevent you from actively participating in your life. “These naps feed the cycle of shame, blame, negative self-talk, and inaction that are major symptoms of depression,” she says. Plus, they can throw off your sleep/wake cycle and make sleeping harder at night.

Here are seven healthier things you can do instead of heading for the covers when depression strikes.