Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that causes a person to feel depressed during specific seasons of the year. This condition may influence your mood, energy levels, appetite, and sleep. Seasonal depression mainly affects people during winter, but in rare cases, one may experience it during summer. Learning how to deal with seasonal depression at Oceanfront Recovery can help a person improve their mental health.
Signs of Seasonal Depression
The symptoms of seasonal depression are similar to those shown in other forms of depression. The primary difference is that a person only shows these signs during particular seasons. These symptoms can be mild at the beginning of a season, then get worse as the season progresses. Moreover, the signs may vary depending on genetics and the geographical location. One of the most common symptoms of seasonal depression is low self-esteem and sadness. A person can also cry excessively, then feel lonely and pessimistic. Also, this condition can cause reduced concentration and increased suicidal thoughts.
A person may experience cravings in addition to changes in eating habits and appetite. This condition also affects one’s productivity, thereby losing interest in activities enjoyed before. Seasonal depression can also cause stress and increased irritability. In some cases, one can experience fatigue, body pain, insomnia, and restlessness. This condition may also influence a person to use drugs and alcohol to change their mood.
How to Deal with Seasonal Depression
Exposure to sunlight increases the release of a chemical known as serotonin. This hormone has a calming effect and improves mood and concentration. Hence, the absence of enough light during dark winter days may lead to depression. One of the ways to cope with this condition is by using light therapy. This procedure involves exposure to a lightbox that generates bright white light. This light mimics natural sunlight and helps the brain produce adequate levels of serotonin.
Another way to deal with seasonal depression is by exercising in natural light. This step will boost the production of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins. Moreover, exercising can improve self-esteem and regulate sleeping patterns. Interacting with people and attending social gatherings also helps in depression treatment. For example, one can join a support group to share their experiences with other members.
Identifying the factors that cause stress and learning how to manage them goes a long way in dealing with depression. Some of the most common stress triggers are the pressure at workplaces and financial problems. Also, one can deal with depression by engaging in mind-relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation.
Treatment for Seasonal Depression
Learning how to deal with seasonal depression can be useful in treating mild symptoms. Yet, severe cases can be fatal if a person does not get mental health treatment. Medics may administer antidepressants to help a patient manage severe depression. Depending on the nature of the condition, a physician may recommend various forms of treatment. For instance, a person may need to use antidepressants before the depression-causing season begins. One can also undergo other mental health treatment programs, such as therapy.
This process helps a person learn how to deal with depression and avoid stress triggers. Some of the therapies that are effective in treating seasonal depression include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient treatment
Seasonal depression can affect you or your loved one’s lifestyle and physical health if untreated. At Oceanfront Recovery, we offer depression treatment programs to help you improve your mental health. We assess our patients’ needs before treatment to create a personalized program. Our medics will also educate you on how to deal with seasonal depression. Moreover, we can treat this condition alongside a co-occurring drug addiction. Contact Oceanfront Recovery today at 877.296.7477 to start a life free from seasonal depression.