Seasonal depression is a mental health disorder that shares its symptoms with depression. Unlike depression, its onset is seasonal, primarily restricted to fall and winter when the weather worsens, sunlight is less abundant, and people are less active. The disorder is also commonly referred to as seasonal affective disorder. Risk factors that predispose people to experience seasonal depression are family history of mental health disorders, having depression or bipolar disorder, and living in colder climates far from the equator. Nonetheless, anyone can be impacted by seasonal depression.
At AssuraSource, our team is ready to help you or a loved one deal with seasonal depression. Learn more about the depression disorder treatment program by calling 972.233.1010 or completing our online form.
4 Signs of Seasonal Depression
1. Excessive Sleep
People are naturally tempted to sleep more in the winter months as it gets dark earlier in the evening and doesn’t light up as early in the morning. Yet oversleeping is one sign of seasonal depression. Especially if the excess amount of sleep you are getting fails to energize you. Experiencing fatigue no matter how much you sleep is a symptom of depression disorder. If you begin to notice this happen to you, it could mean your body is struggling with seasonal depression.
2. Sudden Appetite Changes
Seasonal depression often causes sudden appetite changes that can result in weight loss or gain. The more common one is weight gain. Be on the lookout for if a change in appetite has you craving carbohydrates as it could indicate the presence of seasonal depression.
3. Loss of Interest in Beloved Activities
Fall and winter often restrict how much time people can comfortably spend outdoors and what activities they can enjoy. But it could be a sign of something more going on if you suddenly lose interest in things like art, journaling, reading, or spending time with family. Those activities can persist no matter the season or weather. So if you notice your interest waning or your social side withdrawing, it may be the influence of seasonal depression.
4. Shifts in Mood
Be watchful for any mood changes that coincide with the shift in seasons. Maybe you felt fine all summer, but now that leaves are changing colors and the weather has cooled down, you have started to feel sad more often. Mood changes related to seasonal depression are most often unexplainable except for the passing seasons. That doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong or failing as a human. Your best option may be to seek treatment to ensure those down days don’t prolong themselves into a depression disorder that outlasts the winter.
Symptoms of Seasonal Depression
Seasonal depression has symptoms that overlap with depression disorder. The signs of seasonal depression typically show themselves as summer turns into fall or when fall gives way to winter. The most common symptoms of both seasonal depression and depression disorder include:
- Pervasive sadness
- Fatigue or a lack of energy
- Sleep issues
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Suicidal ideation
Choose AssuraSource for Seasonal Depression Treatment
Treating seasonal depression is essentially the same as depression disorder treatment. The primary interventions are antidepressant medications and therapy. For many people with mild depression disorder, a simple prescription antidepressant is enough to alleviate symptoms and have them back to functioning normally.
Unlike a depression disorder, seasonal depression can also be treated by using light therapy. This involves a person sitting in front of a special lamp that simulates natural sunlight. Exposure to sun rays provides sufficient Vitamin D and can boost mood. Learn more about seasonal depression disorder treatment by reaching out to AssuraSource by completing our online form or calling 972.233.1010.