Food, gifts, gathering – shouldn’t all of the festive components of the winter months fill you with a sense of childlike glee? If you find that the darkest months are the darkest time of year for you, you’re not alone. So many individuals quietly struggle with seasonal affective disorder each winter.
Learning how to fight seasonal depression is a matter of figuring out why it’s happening. There is a reason why you’re feeling melancholy and seasonal depression treatment is out there! You don’t have to go through the long, dark months alone.
Are you seeking seasonal depression help? Read on to learn more about this surprisingly common diagnosis and ways you can fight back against the blues.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective disorder, shortened to SAD, is an individual’s tendency to experience feelings of depression during a specific time of year. For most people, this period begins in late Fall and extends through the dark winter months. Some individuals experience this every year without fail, while others have the occasional easy winter.
It is different than a mental illness like Major Depression because it’s durational. Individuals with SAD usually don’t experience any kind of depression at all in the late Spring and Summer.
It’s typically caused by the shorter days in the winter, which means less exposure to daylight. The temperature may play a role, too, particularly in places with cold winters. Social routines tend to change and people tend to spend more time indoors.
Season Affective Disorder Symptoms
Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by a range of symptoms. You may experience one or more of these symptoms, and at differing levels of severity.
The symptoms include:
- Difficulty waking up
- Weight gain
- Loss of motivation
- Decreased social interaction
- Feelings of anxiety
- Loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed
Many of these symptoms are equally common in nonseasonal depression but tend to appear on a more predictable schedule. This means that individuals with SAD can anticipate symptoms and take steps to mitigate them.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment
Treatment can vary depending on the severity of your case. Many individuals find a lot of comfort from attending counseling or therapy from a provider such as Naya Clinics. If your symptoms are severe and you feel you may be a danger to yourself or others, always consult a physician immediately.
For less severe cases, there are things you can do at home to lessen your symptoms and make the winter bearable.
Some options include:
- At-home red light therapy
- Use a negative air ionization device
- Prioritize sleep with a regular bedtime
- Push yourself to take a winter walk
- Get as much natural light as you can
There are a variety of products out there that many suffered swear have reversed their symptoms and helped them get through the winter. Always let someone you love know how you’re feeling and find ways that friends and family can support you.
How to Fight Seasonal Depression
Seasonal affective disorder affects a lot of people, so if you’re dreading the dark days, you’re not alone. Knowing how to fight seasonal depression is the first step toward managing your symptoms.
Don’t give up! If you can make it through the dark days, the sun will come out again!
Before you go out and buy a light therapy lamp, stick around and check out the rest of the blog for more informative articles about your mental and physical health!