Seasonal depression is a type of depression that occurs during certain seasons, most commonly in the fall and winter months. It is also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and affects millions of people worldwide. Because it is tied to seasonal changes, it can feel like a never-ending cycle of sadness, loss of interest in activities, and low energy. While it is normal to feel a little down during the colder months, seasonal depression is more severe and can greatly impact daily life.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression, treatment can make a difference. It’s possible to develop healthy coping skills and discover how a combination of different treatments can alleviate symptoms and help you find joy in life again. Columbia Associates offers depression treatment in Virginia and Maryland that can help with seasonal depression.
Call 703.682.8208 to discover how our experienced therapists can help you manage seasonal depression.
What Is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal depression is a type of mood disorder characterized by the onset of symptoms during certain seasons, typically fall and winter. It is more than just feeling sad or down due to the colder weather—it is a form of major depression that occurs cyclically with the changing of seasons. While less common, some people may also experience seasonal depression in the spring and summer months. These seasonal patterns can vary from person to person, with some experiencing symptoms during one season and others experiencing them during multiple seasons.
Signs of Seasonal Depression
The signs and symptoms of seasonal depression are similar to those of major depression. They include:
- Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless most of the day
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Changes in appetite and weight (usually an increase)
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Fatigue and low energy
Other common symptoms may include irritability, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of worthlessness. While these symptoms can also occur with major depression, they are more likely to be associated with seasonal depression during specific times of the year.
Tips for Coping with Seasonal Depression
If you’re struggling with seasonal depression, there are steps you can take to help cope and manage symptoms. These include:
- Get regular exercise – Exercise can help boost mood and energy levels, making it an effective tool for managing seasonal depression. Even a short walk outside during the day can make a difference.
- Spend time outdoors – Making an effort to get some sunlight can also be beneficial. Sunlight exposure helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.
- Eat a healthy diet – Eating nutritious foods can help improve your mood and energy levels. Focus on incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Activities such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress and promote feelings of calmness and well-being.
- Connect with others – Social support is essential for managing mental health. Make an effort to reach out to friends and family, even if it’s just through a phone call or video chat.
- Seek professional help – If your symptoms are significantly impacting your daily life, seeking therapy from a mental health professional can be beneficial. Treatment services like psychotherapy and medication management can help alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression.
While these tips can be helpful, it’s important to remember that everyone experiences seasonal depression differently. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for you.
Call Columbia Associates Today for Treatment for Seasonal Depression
If you or a loved one is struggling with seasonal depression, know that help is available. Our experienced team at Columbia Associates can provide you with personalized treatment and support to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Don’t let seasonal depression control your life any longer—call 703.682.8208 or reach out online today to schedule an appointment and begin the journey toward healing.