Depression is a mental health issue that engulfs an individual and stays for long. It usually sources from tragic events such as losing a loved one, being jobless, financial crisis, or any other reason that puts stress on one’s mind. However, is it possible that this condition has a seasonal effect? It is. Many people today experience what is called seasonal depression, a condition that lowers an individual’s energy levels and makes them feel less than their perky old self. The condition may occur due to the shift in weather or any other reason.
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression is a type of mental condition that usually happens during late fall, at a time when there is less sunlight and the days become shorter. However, seasonal depression can also happen in summer, but winter is the most common time for people to experience this condition.
Feeling sad for seemingly unknown reasons, insomnia, and regularly spending days binge-watching TV shows while laying on the couch and eating food are few of the symptoms of seasonal depression. If you experience any of the symptoms above and feel low for an unknown reason, you might be suffering from seasonal depression.
How to Fight Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more likely to happen in women when compared to men. People who live farther away from the equator also experience seasonal depression. However, since this mental condition occurs seasonally, it is slightly easier to fight against this as compared to clinical depression that is a long-term mental illness. Read on to find ways that can help you or your loved one suffering from seasonal depression.
Talk to a doctor
Whatever it may be, seasonal depression is a type of mental illness that only a psychologist can handle well. Such types of conditions are not to be self-medicated by consuming medications by oneself. Doing this can put you at a serious risk where both physical and psychological health are bound to worsen. To prevent this, it is extremely important to consult a doctor. If diagnosed, seasonal depression can be cured by therapy where one-to-one sessions are conducted with a psychologist who assesses the mental state of the patient and works towards stabling it.
Nature contains the power to provide a sense of self-appreciation and leaves a soothing effect on our minds. While suffering from SAD, you can take a 10-minute walk into nature either alone or with a companion to see how effective nature can be for a human mind. These eco-therapies increase mood and have other benefits on our body and mind. Even if you don’t have a neighborhood to go on forest bathing, a short walk to the nearest park or just on the streets alone would elevate good feelings.
Depression lowers our energy levels and stoops our mood to a level that we no longer find pleasure in anything around. A depressed soul can lose interest in everything even if these are things that he/she was pretty much interested in earlier. To tackle this, antidepressants are the best measures to opt for. These drugs improve mood and also maintain our energy levels to make us feel good and relaxed. However, antidepressants can be addictive if these are taken without supervision and more than what is prescribed. It is advised to consult your doctor before taking any medications.
Physical activity and regular exercise can keep a depressed mind active and distracted. Exercising is the best way to focus on our health while also improving our mood. Whether you decide to take a long walk, jog for a few kilometers, or lift heavyweights in the gym, as long as you completely dedicate yourself to the exercise, you will see improvements.
Meditation cannot be dismissed out of hands while talking about mental illnesses. This activity plays a crucial role in bringing back the peace and calmness that the mind is looking for. In cases of severe mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and much more meditation has proven to be helpful for various patients. If done properly, even a 5-minute meditation per day can be extremely beneficial for a depressed mind.
Eat those carbs
Now if you are a gym rat, you may not find this idea in the best interest. Carbohydrates are good for a person suffering from seasonal depression because it helps maintain levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and eases the mind. However, it is important to eat a specified amount of carbohydrates as excessive eating can do more harm than gain.
Yes. Any fight against mental illness is incomplete without your support network. Your friends, family, colleagues, partner, or anyone close to you plays a crucial role in your battle. So, you must always keep these people in the loop for what’s happening in your life. Whether you’re feeling low, or have done something that makes you happy, it is worth sharing with your near and dear ones. They can support you during your tough times and rejoice with you in times of a celebration. The point here is to never feel and bottle up your problems. There is always someone to talk to.
No one in this world is completely stress-free. Everyone is battling through problems and stresses of their lives. It all depends on how well one handles the lows that come with a rollercoaster of a journey that life is. While suffering from seasonal depression, it becomes important to manage your stress and not let these capture your mind.
The seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression and its symptoms vary from person to person. However, if you constantly feel low and you think the symptoms are affecting your daily activities, it is time to take this seriously and consult a medical professional. Self-medication is not a good approach in such cases as it can worsen the situation. Medical professionals assess the condition and then suggest a treatment strategy that best meets your issue. Also, remember it is not too early to consult a doctor in mental illnesses.
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