10 Mental Illnesses That Can Make You Feel Lethargic

10 Mental Illnesses That Can Make You Feel Lethargic


Do you feel exhausted all the time? Is it all you can do to drag yourself out of bed in the morning to start your day? Are there days when the world seems to be overwhelming, and you cannot even function?

You should know that you are not alone. Many people fight fatigue daily. It’s one of the most common reasons for a visit to your doctor’s office. Now, you should know that there are 100s of explanations why you’re lethargic, and finding the exact cause isn’t always so cut and dry.

Reasons Why You May Feel Lethargic

When you head to the doctor’s office with a complaint that you’re exhausted, it’s hard to pinpoint the cause. They will run a battery of blood tests to see if there is anything out of whack that could be causing your symptoms.


Here are the most common medical problems that cause you to be lethargic.

•Low Thyroid Function
•Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
•Iron Deficiency
•Adrenal insufficiency
•Sleep Apnea
•Mental Illness

Mental Illnesses That Cause Fatigue

Mental illness is a broad category that is used to describe disorders of the mind. Since you can’t take a blood test or a physical examination to determine a mental health problem, doctors must rely on gut instincts and the questions you answer.

If you’re constantly lethargic and feel there is a mental issue to blame, it could be one of these conditions.

1. Depression

It’s estimated that there are more than 17.3 million people in the United States that battle depression. There are different varieties of this illness, as some can be acutely brought on by circumstances or ongoing.

Depression should not be confused with the blues. It’s normal for people to experience times where they are low in life due to circumstances beyond their control. However, depression is a mental illness that lasts for more than a few weeks.

When you can’t shake the downtrodden feeling you have, then it may be depression. Since depression’s number one symptom is feeling lethargic, doctors might first consider this diagnosis before ruling out more serious health concerns.

2. General Anxiety Disorder

General anxiety disorder is a condition that affects more than 18 percent of the adult population in this country. It’s a disorder that is generalized because its symptoms are varied to each person. The most common symptoms of this disorder are nervousness, dizziness, lethargy, disassociation, and panic attacks.

A person who fights anxiety struggles continuously because their mind won’t stop. They may find going to sleep difficult because they ruminate about their problems. Not only does the condition cause exhaustion, but it’s hard to sleep when you have irrational worries that keep you from getting the rest your body needs.

3. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition where a person can go long periods without rest, which is called the manic phase. If you suffer from this condition, you may spend money you don’t have, engage in risky behavior, and have a short fuse.

During a manic phase, you will not require sleep, but there is also a depressive phase to this condition. During this period, you won’t be able to get enough rest. Your body may be so rundown from the months of mania that you could sleep 20 hours a day.

Though bipolar is more common these days, it can be treated. The manic and depressive phases can be controlled, and you can live life to the fullest.

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Learn how to identify an eating disorder (and find help).

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

While OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder falls under general anxiety, it’s also significant enough to be considered an independent diagnosis. OCD is a condition where people are so anxious because their minds obsess about things beyond their control.

It’s not uncommon for the person that suffers from OCD to count, lock, unlock the door numerous times, and do things in a particular order. It’s the obsessive nature of this condition that causes you to feel lethargic.

While the condition itself doesn’t make you tired, your mind won’t stop, and you partake in ritualistic behaviors that can cause exhaustion.

5. Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition that is split into five types. Neurological and cognitive delays and abnormalities mark the symptoms of this condition. While it’s not a mental illness, it’s worth including.

Here is why.

If you have this condition, you will have issues communicating and interacting with others, which can be exhausting.

Additionally, the repetitive behaviors and difficulty understanding what’s going on in the world around them can wear their body down. People with ASD often will sleep too much or too little, depending on the severity.

6. Factitious Disorder

If you are suffering from a factitious disorder, then you are a hypochondriac obsessed with sickness. Every pain in your body will cause you to think that you’re dying or having a significant illness. While you should know that people suffering from this condition don’t do this on purpose, the underlying root of this disorder is the desire for attention.

You may be lethargic as your mind is continuously ruminating on medical problems and treatments needed. Plus, you can exhaust yourself by running from hospital to urgent clinics and to drug stores trying to get help. The condition is rare, as less than one percent of the population has it.

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7. Schizoaffective Disorder

A person that has schizoaffective disorder has a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar. This illness has times of psychosis and mental instability. It’s not uncommon for this person to have delusions or hallucinations, but not everyone will experience these symptoms.

The schizoaffective individual may find that their mind is always caught up in paranoia, and they can experience mania and depression too. The suicide rate of this disease is high, as it’s hard to treat. However, it’s understandable why exhaustion is considered normal with these folks.

8. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the most severe of all mental illnesses. An impaired way of thinking marks it. This person will often feel that someone is out to get them. They are usually fearful of anyone and everything.

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