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How to Cope With Seasonal Depression

The changing of seasons can bring about different feelings and emotions. For many people, the winter months can be especially difficult. It’s common to feel a sense of sadness, fatigue, and overall un-wellness during the winter season. This is known as seasonal depression, and unfortunately, it affects millions of people each year. But the good news is, there are ways to cope with seasonal depression. Let’s take a closer look at some coping mechanisms, depression treatment options, and why it’s important to seek professional help. 

What Is Seasonal Depression? 

Seasonal depression, also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It typically occurs during the fall and winter months when there’s less sunlight and can last throughout the season.  

This condition is believed to be caused by the body’s response to reduced sunlight, which can disrupt the body’s internal clock and lead to a drop in serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and is often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone.  

When serotonin levels are low, it can result in feelings of sadness, fatigue, and a lack of interest in activities normally enjoyed. In addition to these symptoms, seasonal depression can also cause changes in appetite, with some individuals experiencing an increase in cravings for carbohydrates and weight gain. Sleep patterns may also be affected, with individuals experiencing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.  

It’s important to note that while seasonal depression is more common during the fall and winter months, some individuals may also experience it during the spring and summer, although this is less common. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional who can provide guidance and support. 

Coping Mechanisms for Seasonal Depression 

There are plenty of things you can do to cope with this condition. One of the most important things you can do is get outside and soak up some sunlight. You can also try light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a lightbox for a certain amount of time each day.  

Exercise is also an excellent way to lift your mood and increase energy levels. It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet and get enough sleep. Finally, consider cultivating a creative outlet or hobby that brings you joy. 

What is Treatment For Seasonal Depression? 

If your seasonal depression symptoms are severe, seeking treatment from a medical professional is recommended. Treatment may include talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both.  

Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, involves speaking with a mental health professional about your feelings and emotions. Medication, such as antidepressants, can also be effective in treating this condition. 

3 Benefits of Treatment For Seasonal Depression 

1. Increased Energy Levels and Improved Mood 

One of the biggest benefits of treating seasonal depression is experiencing an increase in energy levels and an overall improvement in mood. You’ll feel more motivated to get out of bed, tackle daily tasks, and enjoy activities you once found joy in. 

2. Improved Sleep 

This condition can cause trouble sleeping, which can lead to a snowball effect of feeling even worse. Treatment can help improve sleep patterns and lead to better overall health. 

3. Increased Quality of Life

When you’re not feeling great, it can take a toll on your daily life. Treating this condition can lead to an increased quality of life and overall well-being. 

Get Help For Your Mental Health With Harmony 

If you’re struggling with seasonal depression, know that you’re not alone. Getting help from a mental health professional is the best course of action, and at Harmony, we’re here to support you on your journey toward wellness.  

Take the first step toward prioritizing your mental health. For new clients, please click here to schedule an appointment. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.