The shift into fall and winter doesn’t just mean a change in the weather. You might notice a considerable difference in mood or outlook in a friend or family member. Many people experience an occasional bout of the winter blues. However, a recurring and persistent depression that sets in with the change in seasons may indicate that your loved one is living with seasonal depression. Seasonal depression can be debilitating and may require the intervention of a depression treatment program.
Many of the symptoms of seasonal depression overlap with other depressive disorders. If you think someone you love may need help with their seasonal depression, BoardPrep recovery has many treatment options available. Call us at 866.796.4720 or contact us on the web with any questions you may have.
Spotting the Symptoms of Seasonal Depression
Seasonal depression is often referred to as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Commonly associated with the fall and winter months, most experts believe that SAD is partially due to the reduction in sunlight, disrupting a person’s circadian rhythm and resulting in feelings of depression. However, SAD can arise in the spring and summer as well. It includes the more common symptoms of depression, such as persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or guilt, a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities. It can also involve a deep sense of sluggishness or low energy. It would help if you also kept an eye out for changes in mood or behaviors that can become more pronounced with the change of seasons. Additionally, the mental and emotional symptoms that characterize SAD may also be accompanied by physical symptoms. Look for symptoms such as:
- Oversleeping in the fall or winter
- Insomnia in the spring or summer
- Noticeable increases or decreases in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Increased anxiety
1. Seasonal Depression and Changing Sleep Habits
Those living with winter-pattern SAD may tend to oversleep. Studies suggest that the lack of sunlight may boost a person’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. The body produces more melatonin as the available light decreases and the environment becomes darker.
2. Changes in Appetite or Weight With the Onset of SAD
Depression can lead to a change in appetite or weight. Those experiencing SAD during the fall and winter may have a larger appetite and might even over-eat. They may also feel a pronounced craving for carbohydrate-rich foods.
3. Anxiety and Seasonal Depression
People may deal with anxiety at various times in their lives. However, if someone’s anxiety symptoms become more pronounced with the change of seasons or are accompanied by other indicators of seasonal depression, they may be dealing with SAD. Symptoms of anxiety may include:
- Feelings of panic or doom
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to stay still or calm
- Ruminating over problems again and again
Anxiety also has physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, or nausea.
Manage Seasonal Depression Right Now With BoardPrep Recovery
It can be hard watching someone you care about deal with depression. It might seem as though the person you love has been replaced by a stranger, and you don’t know how to help them. But no one needs to face depression alone. Seasonal depression, even if it is seemingly temporary, can be just as serious as other anxiety or depression disorders and should be treated as such.
If you or a loved one is in need of a depression disorder treatment center in the Tampa area, contact BoardPrep Recovery. We offer many treatment options for a variety of mental health issues. Call us today at 866.796.4720 or reach out at any time using our web contact form.