Depression and Time of Day


I am noticing that I am *much* more depressed during the day. For example, today until about 6pm, I was extremely depressed - unable to do anything. Physically very slow, and everything I did had to be forced. Apathy for everything, even the things I usually fall back on when nothing else interests me. Then about 6 or so, I have more energy, more interest in doing stuff, and I don't feel so physically heavy.

I've noticed this before, and I have been more depressed since starting a job that requires I be up at 7 in the morning (of course, there are other issues with that, as well). Anyway, I was wondering if anyone notices a difference in the degree of their depression based on time of day?

Things have been very bad, and I'm really just trying to find things that make sense and ways to ease the symptoms.


Anyway, I was wondering if anyone notices a difference in the degree of their depression based on time of day?
Definitely. First thing in the morning (that one is called 'diurnal mood'), and again in the evening.

For me, I suspect it's a combination of my circadian rhythm and the metabolism of my meds (my anti-depressant levels wane over the course of the day, and my mood-stabiliser is also at it lowest levels in the evening).

It's common enough for mood to shift over the course of the day for it to have specific names in psychiatry. And dramatic enough that, for me, my suicidality risk levels change sharply depending on the time of day (which is a pretty helpful thing for me and T to know!).

But it's also super helpful in terms of management strategies: everything from the type of medications best suited to you, to planning your daily routine and introducing other management strategies to help even things out.

My morning routine and evening routines are specifically designed to help me manage the shifts in mood that I experience. I also trained doggo to help me out with my morning mood issues which has been a complete game changer.


Yes, definitely there are moments that are way worse others. Actually, I noticed that it’s kind of the same moments I feel worse when I’m actually ill, so I agree with Sideways on the idea it’s linked to circadian rhythms.

Worst moments are generally around 7-8 AM, then again at 5PM, and sometimes towards midnight or 1AM in that case it’s more of an anxiety panic peak. I would say that the 7AM is the most deflated/discouraged one, the 5PM the most depressed/despaired one, and the midnight one the more critical, aggressive or self-aggressive.

I did read a paper written by a psychiatric hospital director commenting on how most people would have episodes or other crisis round midnight or 1AM. So yes there seems to be something rather regular in the human way of going bonkers.

Over time I’ve learned how to variate the moment I take the medication to help bring the curves to a baseline. The excitants in the morning, distraction towards 5 PM, and the anxiolytics in the night.

It’s hard to be consistent though especially when life around you isn’t a clockwork, but you kind of are. I do have a few samples of every med I need in the inner pocket of my coat so I can do that even if I’m outside.

Reflecting on how to adapt with other things such as activities etc.