Ever wonder why when the season changes, your mood also changes? While some people might be impervious to changes in their emotional health with changes in the weather, others might be suffering from seasonal depression, and thus, have unwanted symptoms.
What is seasonal depression?
Also known as seasonal affective disorder, season depression is a type of depressive episode that occurs with changes in the weather. It generally tends to start around fall and continues throughout the winters. It may also become worse with the weather becoming more severe. However, it can also occur during spring and summer as well.
Often, seasonal depression is not taken seriously enough by people. They put a brave face on, and soldier through it. But as it has a grave impact on the quality of your life, getting help for seasonal depression from the Psychiatrist in Lahore is important.
What are the symptoms of seasonal depression?
Seasonal affective disorder or SD has symptoms similar to major depression. The signs commonly observed include:
- Concentration and focus problems
- Feeling teary or down
- Food cravings, especially for carbohydrate
- Not finding comfort
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
- Low energy levels
- Sadness and blues
- Sleep problems
- Suicide ideation
- Withdrawing from social activities
There might also be slightly different presentation of the symptoms depending on the weather they strike. For fall and winter SD, the signs also include fatigue, weight gain, increased sleep, and dietary changes.
For seasonal affective disorder striking in spring and summer, people are more likely to experience agitation, weight loss, insomnia, and irritable disposition.
What are the causes of seasonal depression?
While the precise causes of seasonal depression are yet not understood, there are some factors that can be held responsible for this condition. These include:
Lack of sunshine
Most place experience low levels of sunlight in winters. In some areas, sun might not even make an appearance. The lack of sunlight and the dreary weather can then put a damper on the mood.
Vitamin D deficiency
Sunlight also is an important source of vitamin D, which, alongside making the bones strong, is also required for improving mood. Lack thereof can also then cause depression and its symptoms as well.
The lack of sunlight can also cause changes in your biological clock; human body also follows the circadian rhythm. As it plays an important role in hormones that are also tied to mood, therefore, this can also pave way for SAD.
Generally, fall is also accompanied by many changes. Summer vacation ends, new duties start, working hours shift, etc. Some people might also move homes as well. Hence, when you are made to move out of your comfort zone, it can too, have a grave impact on your mood.
Your sleep is closely tied to your mood, and the sunlight. Hence, when there is lack of sunlight, it can upset your sleep, which in turn, can upset your mood.
What are the treatment options?
There are several possible treatment options for seasonal depression or SAD. These include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT is talk therapy that helps in changing the way you think and behave. You can consult a mental health expert for to get CBT.
Exposure to blue light has been shown to have a positive impact on the symptoms of SD. Light therapy capitalizes on this and exposes patient to bright light for to improve their mood.
Some people might also be prescribed anti-depressants for the management of their symptoms.
It may be cold outdoors, but that’s also where the sun is. So, wear your gear and spend good, quality time out in the open.
Vitamin D supplements
In case you are deficient in vitamin D, your doctor might recommend supplements to top off your vitamin levels.
When to see an expert?
If you have the symptoms of SAD that are persisting for days, and having a grave impact on your mental health, you must consult your Psychiatrist in Fauji Foundation Hospital.