Why is this so hard at evening time?

Why is evening time such a trigger for me? It hits around 4pm and lasts until i fall asleep. My mood drops and I struggle. I am using coping skills like journaling, art, meditation, watching tv/YouTube, crocheting, 5 senses, holding on to ice to ground me, and going for walks but the depression and anxiety just creeps back in. I can be doing ok during the day, but it seems like every day my mood just starts to go down hill around that time.
Does any one else get like this? And if so, what do you do? I am tired of using coping skills over and over again. It’s tiring.
Trying to stay positive but finding it hard.


have you tried out getting different bulbs? Do you think the evening light, which could be pretty specific depending on where you are located, could be causing these triggers? Maybe a coloured bulb can help manipulate the world just enough to take away the sensations brought up.

I have lights that i put up in my living room that are a warm yellow light that I turn on during the evening and i turn off the main lights. I try and not have the main lights on after it gets dark out and switch to them.
It seems it help a bit having a dull light to try and try dewind. ( I find that having bright lights on in the evening can keep me awake).

are there others around you around that time? is there a change in the presence or energy that surrounds you around that time? like people coming home from work or school, traffic changes outside your place?

Nope. There is nothing different that I can tell that happens around that time.

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ah, well i was hoping it’d be an easy answer I could have magically solved for ya, friend!

does the mood last into the night? until you eventually fall asleep?

Once my sleep medication kicks in I can sleep. But even in my sleep it’s not sound. I don’t know why the evening/night was like this. It would be so nice to know what was causing it so I could fix it.

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dunno if anyone else has any experience with it. I really hope you can get some clues to figure it out!
all i can think of is the light changes, noise changes, maybe the evening makes you subconsciously recall something from your past that happened around that time of the day, some sort of melatonin thingy.

Hm, would it help you to create a sort of evening time ritual to sort of welcome the end of the day? might sound a bit weird lol, but maybe if you sort of welcomed the darkening day, your mind might create a sort of positive association? maybe a scented candle with a nice smell so that it’s positive and uplifting.

Yea, I could try that. I guess also during the day I’m busy with the distractions and with everything but in the evening I don’t know what to do with my time and my thoughts so a evening time routine sounds like something that I could try. I don’t really have a routine but I could think of some stuff that I could do.


really hope it can help! please let me know if it does, and we’ll see if anyone else has any ideas :smiley:
wishing you well!

Thanks for your ideas. I will give it a go.

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I guess also during the day I’m busy with the distractions and with everything but in the evening I don’t know what to do with my time and my thoughts so a evening time routine sounds like something that I could try. I don’t really have a routine but I could think of some stuff that I could do.

This. Absolutely this. It’s exactly how and why evenings are more difficult to me, especially during winter when the night is present earlier. And it is a very common experience, really.

When there’s something to do it gets easier to not be focused on how I feel or my thoughts. But the evening is this time when it feels like the day is closing in, when there’s not much to do left. Since I have started to work a few hours again, I’ve noticed that weekends tend to be the same as well - nothing to do, more prone to be depressed and anxious.

Developing a routine is definitely a good thing to try. Both to relax, have some “me-time”, but also just something to look forward to. The idea is not to keep yourself busy at any cost, but, you could use your evening times to explore new hobbies for example. Something that really helps your brain to associate, progressively, the evening time with something pleasant and enjoyable. Something that drives you and brings a positive note to your mood.

I personally like to try to think in terms of “personal toolbox”. Something in which I virtually put what brings me something positive depending on my mood. It looks different and is made of different things for everyone, and there’s also something exciting in learning to identify what works for you/what you like! It can be just as a form of a list for example, one that you can look at when you need it or don’t know what to do, ask yourself “what is my need right now?”, and see on the list if something could respond to this need at the moment. Whether it’s a good book to read, an instrument to play, a walk, a music… all the things that fill your heart with what it needs. :hrtlegolove:

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I have the exact same experience. The first half of the day might be manageable and then it gets worse. Evenings are super tough.

Why? The tension of the day slowly goes away, our nervous system starts to calm down so we’re relaxed for the night. Bu that tension keeps all the uncomfortable feelings down. Not only, but especially when trauma’s been at play. There are loads of pain somewhere down there. Do your ED urges worsen during the day? I don’t know what that’s like for you, but apart from the control, my ED is also there to numb feelings and to bring me to a place far, far away from the present moment. There is a massive fear that I cannot handle all the pain.

What to do? Honestly, I don’t know. Get a good therapist who genuinely understands your struggles and helps you to find coping skills for painful emotions. For me, personally, I hope I’ll have the courage some time soon to wait for the evening to come without escaping by engaging in ED behaviors or other major distraction. Allow the stillness to be and accept everything that comes up without trying to run away from it. I am so scared of the stillness and the pain that might come up.

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Yes, my ED urges are definitely worse at night. The ED is very loud at night and that’s when i feel the most out of control (but at the same time in control at moments?)
There is a lot of truma and pain that is in my life and at night my mind is not quiet. So i guess the ED does numb things and i can relate about being taken to a far far away place away from the present moment.

I meet with my therapist this week and am going to bring this up. She is new and doesn’t know much about me yet. I tend to have a hard time opening up to therapists and trying to deal with things so I dont know how this is going to go, the last time I did therapy I totally shut down. So art therapy might be a great tool to getting things out in a safe way.

I hear you when you said that you are waiting for the evening that will come that will come without engaging in the ED behaviours. That is a tough one.
I have found some days I am able to do that, but it is a struggle. Being still in the pain is not something that is comfortable that’s for sure. I dont know what your situation is, but have you tried delaying whatever the behaviour is even for 5-10 minutes? I know its not much, but its something. I try to sit with the feelings, try to distract. I usually end up back in the behaviour but delaying it is a start i guess. ( it was suggested by my diettian) just a thought, something I find sometimes works for me. It’s hard to do when you are in the moment but its a step towards fighting the ED.


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