Here in the Mid-West winter has settled in. Deciduous trees have lost their last leaves creating a barren, gray landscape. The gray and clouded skies can add to a sense of being enveloped in a bleak, cold cloud. For some people, this atmosphere acts as a trigger for depression. Combine the gloomy surroundings with the emotional and physical tiredness which can follow the holiday season and a person vulnerable to depression can experience a depression that stays with them throughout the season.
Seasonal Depression is Real
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a form of depression triggered by environmental factors like low sunlight and harsh temperatures. The let-down of post holiday weeks and months only worsens the risk of a winter season depression.
People who experience SAD may not realize that it is actually a form of diagnosable depression. They may dread winter and do their best to endure the long months of listlessness, tiredness and low mood, when all along there has been treatment available to help with the condition.
Sometimes SAD is treated with antidepressant medication, often though light therapy is recommended. The idea is that the brain is reacting negatively to the absence of bright light and by providing it, the brain can revive and release hormones that help with low moods. Cutting edge light technology comes mounted on a headband and directs light directly into the retina. Even though the sky is cloudy, getting outside in spite of the cold can also help to alleviate seasonal depressive symptoms from low levels of sunlight.
If you feel down for more than two weeks for no obvious reason during the winter months, call us today at Family Guidance. It could be seasonal depression. We can help you with the depression that lingers with you over the cold months.