5 ways to cope with seasonal depression

Easing seasonal depression during the winter holidays can be treated with these recommendations
5 ways to cope with seasonal depression
Photo courtesy of Letitia Huger-Hill

Depression that occurs during the fall and winter holidays may signify seasonal affective disorder. Classic symptoms of seasonal depression start when the days get less sunny and the weather is less accommodating for outdoor excursions. According to Everyday Health, experts explain that the body’s seasonal clock is used to sleep and wake up during certain hours and when seasons change, so does our energy and ability to stay alert. 

There are other symptoms of seasonal depression that surround family trauma and past experiences. Whether something happened during the holidays that caused you to dread celebrating with family or simply a family mental health disorder that has been passed down, many people are expected to experience this depression. 

Mental health professional and psychotherapist Letitia Huger-Hill shares insight on the importance of treating your depression and having the ability to live your life to the fullest.

What are some common symptoms of seasonal depression? How does one know they are battling this disease?

Seasonal depression is a type of seasonal affect disorder related to seasonal changes.  Some common symptoms of Seasonal Depression include low interest in activities that were once enjoyable, increased need for sleep, difficulty concentrating, hopelessness or helplessness, and increased tearfulness or crying.  These feelings are present most days of the week.  Someone experiencing severe symptoms may also have thoughts of suicide.  If suicidal thoughts are occurring, visiting your nearest emergency room is imperative.

Does seasonal depression only happen in the fall and winter months? 

Seasonal depression happens more often in the fall and winter, but it also occurs during spring and summer.  Symptoms of spring and summer seasonal depression include trouble sleeping, being more irritable or agitated, a decrease in appetite, or weight loss.

How can the disorder be treated?

It’s essential to reach out to a therapist or healthcare provider if these symptoms are present most days of the week.  Treatment for seasonal depression can include psychotherapy to learn healthy coping skills and increase positive self-talk. Sometimes medication is also used if symptoms are severe.  It’s essential to be open with your healthcare professional about all symptoms and your mental health history to receive the best treatment for your needs.

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