Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues,” is a common condition that gets triggered at the same time each year, usually in the fall. While it may be common to experience seasonal depression in different ways, it traditionally has the following symptoms:
- Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain
- Extreme fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Inability to concentrate
- Limbs feeling heavy
- Loss of interest in usual activities, including withdrawing from social activities
- Sleeping more
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Regardless of which symptoms you may be experiencing, treatment is available to help you during this time.
What Causes Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal Depression can occur due to the combination of experiencing shorter days, more darkness, colder weather, and less daylight exposure, along with pre-existing brain chemical imbalances and deficits in vitamin D.
If you suffer from the “winter blues,” there are several things you can do to help you manage it.
Ways to Cope With Seasonal Depression
One way to learn how to cope with seasonal depression begins with receiving treatment through different forms of therapy. Utilizing therapy is a great way to discover how the disorder impacts you as an individual and how to cope with its symptoms.
Other ways to cope with seasonal depression include:
- Practicing daily exercise: Exercise boosts hormones in the brain that make you feel good. Even if it feels hard to exercise due to symptoms of seasonal depression, it will be beneficial.
- Setting goals: Although it may be hard to become motivated during this time of year, it is important to set goals for yourself to give you focus and the ability to measure your progress.
- Lowering expectations of yourself: If you tend to take on a lot of commitments and hold yourself to high standards, give yourself permission to take on less and schedule time to rest.
- Acceptance: Even though it feels uncomfortable and seems like an inconvenience, there is nothing wrong with feeling down sometimes. What often causes more discomfort than the experience of depression itself is resisting it and thinking you should not feel the way you do. Acceptance can help you through the thick of it.
The “winter blues,” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can impact the way you feel and think, and therefore affect your functioning on a daily basis. Although overwhelming and frustrating to experience, treatment is available for SAD, and learning to cope with it can help you navigate the fall and winter months. At Avalon Malibu, we offer different types of support programs to help you manage SAD. Here, you will be with professionals and peers who support an environment of healing and connection. To learn more about how we can help you manage seasonal depression, call us today at (844) 857-5992.