Clinophilia: when the bed seems like a safe place

Clinophilia: when the bed seems like a safe place

The clinophilia It is a term that describes one of the most common behaviors that people have when they overwhelm us feelings of sadness and hopelessness.


  • 1 Clinophilia, a great enemy of depression
  • 2 The double side of clinophilia: is the bed a lifeline or a ballast?
  • 3 How to overcome clinophilia

Clinophilia, a great enemy of depression

On numerous occasions we resort to lying on the bed / sofa when we are not at all well, hoping that it provides us with a magical solution to our problems. This phenomenon is defined as the tendency to stay in bed for many hours of the day without there being an organic disease that justifies it. It is usually a symptom that accompanies depressive and dysthymic states.

Imagine a world that is perceived as nothing enriching or rewarding, where the stimuli that pleased us before have lost their reinforcing power, where the future is faced with despair and desolation, where the activities that gave us pleasure no longer do, where we feel unable, demotivated, apathetic, annergic, fatigued, pessimistic, deconcentrated, irritable, insomniac or hipersonmes, without appetite, with muscle aches ...

Suddenly, the world we have described has been dyed black and the person loses his sense of his own existence. As if that were not enough, in addition to the symptoms highlighted above, we feel guilty for not having the ability to leave that state of deep sadness and, every day we see less light at the end of the tunnel. Thoughts begin to be increasingly congruent with this state of unhappiness and we send self-destructive messages. People who initially pay attention to see us sad, reinforcing our symptoms, soon they disappear and cease in their efforts for giving us a smile, because it is not pleasant for anyone to continuously meet a person who only transmits discouragement and discouragement. All that we thought of ourselves has been confirmed again. We are a burden, others do not love us and move away because "I am the worst and not worth anything."

The double side of clinophilia: is the bed a lifesaver or a ballast?

With all this diffuse spectrum of depressive symptoms seized of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, our vital project collapses and the person ends up stopping their activities and replace them for long periods without doing anything, an inactivity that leads us to be lying all day in bed or on the sofa.

This bed or sofa space, at least is known and provides us with security. A fictitious security that does nothing but take our energy and sink deeper into our own sadness. Lying in bed we will never leave that pathological spiral but, ending up in that state responds to a logic that a recognized behaviorist As is Ferster described in terms of:

“The main characteristic of depression is the reduced frequency of positively reinforced behaviors that serve to control the environment (e.g., drastic reduction of social contacts or professional activity) while, on the contrary, there is a excessive avoidance or escape behavior in the face of aversive stimuli (e.g., many depressive patients have a hard time getting up in the morning to face their daily tasks, and often stay in bed almost all day). ”

This description does not come into play or the emotions not even the thoughts, but let's imagine that we add the weight of these two ingredients to the cocktail so that we can better understand the devastating impact that all these symptoms can have on our person and our functioning. Note that There is nothing more depressing than depression itself.

How to overcome clinophilia

To avoid this symptomatology, an intense psychotherapeutic approach is needed, but the results are encouraging and accompany us. The depression It is not a way of being stable and permanent, it's a state (like being fatigued, or being nervous) therefore, We must not surrender to it or resign ourselves, since with specialized support it will end up being one more bump in a much longer and more gratifying path, which is life.

The first step to fight it is activate us, go against the logic of depression itself. If the body asks us to get into bed, we have to get out of it, if it asks us not to go to the Zumba class, we have to draw strength and try and so on with the rest of the activities. These small but powerful changes, little by little will help to modify our own perception of the world and the emotions will be congruent with those mental processes, we will gradually find ourselves better.

It is a difficult process because of the suffering it generates and because the therapeutic results may not be so immediate, but with the help of an expert and with your own potential, the path will be much more bearable.

Remember that a Chinese proverb from thousands of years ago already said that “A journey of a thousand kilometers begins with the first step”.