As seasons change, so do some people's emotional state. It can happen during any change in season, surprisingly even during summer, but the most common time is during the winter months. Cooler temps, wetter weather, and minimal daylight during fall and winter result in people staying inside more often, becoming less social, and being less exposed to light. The term for depression that is related to particular seasons is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a common disorder.
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of SAD in order to treat the condition effectively. The list of symptoms for SAD is very similar to the list of common symptoms of depression including change in appetite, mood changes, and more. It should not be taken lightly by any means. Sad affects up to 3 percent of the population, and as much as 20 percent of individuals suffering from a major depressive disorder. Although there's no cure for seasonal affective disorder, there are treatments for depression.
Treatment Options for Seasonal Affective Disorder
As fall turns to winter, most people experience less sunlight. Lack of sunlight causes a lot of shifts to the body's normal cycles. Lack of sunlight causes a drop in serotonin which can lead to feelings of depression. Also, as the body takes in less sunlight, melatonin levels drop causing a shift in mood and sleep patterns. Light therapy boxes have been developed to help increase the intake of light exposure. Although this process sounds simple, it is imperative to get the correct light therapy box and decide the correct dosage with a doctor.
Seeking a therapist is the best first step to take in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder. Therapists will use a range of methods to determine what the best course of treatment is for each individual. Cognitive therapy can help patients learn ways to identify triggers and cope with the symptoms. If symptoms do not improve, therapists may prescribe an antidepressant that should be taken before the season changes.
Yoga and meditation are beneficial to both the body and mind. Meditation can help the release of stress, and increase coping mechanisms. Other forms of exercise will increase endorphins, and help regulate body hormones.
When to Get Help and What are the Treatment Options Available at MidValley Healthcare?
If you or someone you know is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, seeking help is the first step. A licensed therapist will help decide what the best path is for each individual. Although this is a common disorder, there's no reason to suffer in silence. Finding the right therapist makes all the difference.
Treatments at MidValley Heathcare are as unique as the person. We understand that life can be complicated and strive to help people get the help they need to discover a better quality of life. Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder should give us a call to schedule an appointment. We are ready to help you find happiness again.