manage seasonal depression Alpharetta

Manage Seasonal Depression

What is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs at the same time each year, typically during the winter months. It is estimated that up to 5% of the population in the United States suffers from SAD, with women being more likely to experience it than men. Symptoms may include feeling depressed most of the day, losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and feelings of hopelessness. These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s daily life and relationships. So how can you manage seasonal depression? 

What causes SAD? 

There are several potential causes of SAD. One theory is that it is related to the decrease in sunlight during the winter months, which can disrupt the body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Another theory is that the change in seasons may cause a drop in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation.

How to manage symptoms of SAD

Fortunately, it is possible to manage seasonal depression! There are a few techniques that can help with the symptoms of SAD. One of the most effective treatments is red light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a special light box that mimics natural outdoor light for a set amount of time each day. Light therapy can help to regulate the body’s internal clock and improve mood.

Exercise is another important tool for managing SAD. Regular physical activity can help to boost mood and reduce feelings of depression. It can also improve sleep and increase energy levels. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense; even taking a brisk walk outside on a sunny day can be beneficial.

In addition to light therapy and exercise, there are several other strategies that can help to manage SAD. These include eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.

It is also important to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to SAD. This may involve talking to a mental health professional and seeking counseling or therapy. Antidepressant medication may also be prescribed by a doctor.

Ask for help

It’s important to remember that SAD is a real and treatable condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available, including support groups and mental health professionals, who can provide guidance and support. Centered offers valuable mindfulness-based support for depression, anxiety, and addiction issues, including those made worse in winter months. Call 800.556.2966 today for information on our program if you or someone you love needs help!