Almost everyone experiences a bout of depression during their lifetime. It may even start as stress and not make you feel unhappy, just off. Depression may last most of your life, for a few years, or a few months. How long your depression lasts plays a significant role in seasonal affective disorder. You may know precisely when the SAD will strike. When the clocks get turned back an hour, it is dark at 5 pm and cold outside. If you’re suffering from seasonal depression, our team can help. Contact Springfield Wellness Center today at 844.334.4727.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a Kind of Depression
There are five main types of depression, and seasonal affective disorder is one of them. Many people in the United States population have a form of seasonal affective disorder, and others suffer from a milder case called winter blues.
There is a lesser condition known as the winter blues, which is similar but not nearly as severe as seasonal affective disorder. These conditions can be experienced by people who live in the colder climate states.
The terms seasonal depression and winter blues are used for these types of depression because they appear in the late fall and disappear in the spring. People are affected by this condition every year. If they were to move to a warmer climate, it would likely disappear.
If you have another type of depression, precisely one of the three listed below, your seasonal depression can be a lot worse. Luckily, help is available for all types of depression.
- Atypical: A type of depression that doesn’t seem to have a reason. If something positive happens in your life, the depression can go away.
- Situational: This occurs when a situation that upsets you greatly comes along, divorce, loss of a job, or anything that significantly affects your mood. The good news is when the problem resolves, the depression goes away.
- Major: Feelings of depressions a majority of the time.
Signs & Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Not everyone has the same signs or even all the signs of this condition. To diagnose SAD, the individual must experience general symptoms of depression for at least two consecutive weeks. Just because someone is feeling sad or down and may sleep more than usual does not mean they are unhappy. In many cases, the person has no idea why they feel sad and think it is stress. The most common general signs include the following:
- Lack of interest that affects their job, social life, hobbies, and family life.
- Chronic fatigue or insomnia, you may not feel like getting out of bed, you may sleep more frequently, start taking naps, or all the above.
- Insomnia is just as bothersome. Your mind is always going, and the lack of sleep can make you irritable and contribute to an unusual sleep pattern.
- Loss of appetite leading to weight loss. Overeating leading to weight gain.
- Lack of concentration, making it difficult, if not impossible, to make logical decisions, perform daily tasks at home or work.
Treatment Options for Seasonal Depression
Seasonal affective disorder is not a condition you can ignore. You may have an underlying type of depression that needs treatment. There is no reliable scientific proof yet that the condition can be prevented. However, some doctors do prescribe vitamin D, low dose anti-depressants, and light therapy. Some doctors suggest their patients plan a two-week vacation to someplace warm during the mid-cycle point of the winter season. This treatment will help the person boost their vitamin D levels and break up the seasonal depression and stress that comes with it.
Depression of any kind can turn into substance abuse and suicide. Don’t let seasonal affective disorder control your life. Call us at 844.334.4727, or contact us online or visit our website Springfield Wellness Center for help today.