Depression affect millions of people every day. As the seasons change and the days grow shorter, the depression many feel may have a label. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or commonly called, “seasonal depression”, is a type of depression that is triggered during certain times of the year, most commonly fall and winter. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “it is thought that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain leading to symptoms of depression.”
While many can be affected, this type of depression is most common in woman and adults 20 and older. Some common symptoms include increased drowsiness, social withdrawal, fatigue, feelings of guilt or helplessness, and irritability. Some of the common treatments for SAD include light therapy, more frequent exposure to sunlight, and psychotherapy.
Some ways to help combat depression are:
- Get help. If you think you may be depressed, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
- Set realistic goals in light of the depression. Don’t take on too much. Break large tasks into small ones, set priorities, and do what you can as you can.
- Try to be with other people and confide in someone. It is usually better than being alone and secretive.
- Do things that make you feel better. Going to a movie, gardening, or taking part in religious, social, or other activities may help. Doing something nice for someone else can also help you feel better.
- Get regular exercise.
- Expect your mood to get better slowly, not right away. Feeling better takes time.
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Stay away from alcohol and drugs. These can make depression worse.
- Delay big decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition—change jobs, get married or divorced—discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Remember: People rarely “snap out of” a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
- Try to be patient and focus on the positives. This may help replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression. The negative thoughts will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
- Let your family and friends help you.
– Johns Hopkins Medicine 2022
As always, feelings of depression can be overwhelming and should be taken seriously. Talk to a healthcare provider and don’t go through it alone.
Follow the link to read more about SAD.