Everyone feels blue now and then. However, a negative shift in your mood as the seasons begin to change may indicate that you are dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Especially severe cases of seasonal affective disorder may require the intervention of a depression treatment program.
It is easy to identify some of the common symptoms and treatments of seasonal affective disorder. If you or someone you love is in need of seasonal affective disorder treatment, contact BoardPrep Recovery Center® using our convenient online form, or call us at 866.796.4720.
What Makes Seasonal Affective Disorder Different?
SAD shares some characteristics with major depressive disorder. As with other types of depression, you might experience persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, a lack of energy, or increased anxiety. However, other patterns and symptoms suggest a person may be dealing with seasonal affective disorder.
SAD’s correspondence to the change of seasons is crucial, as are a number of seasonal symptoms. But, there are other seasonal symptoms to look for if you are experiencing this condition. For winter-pattern SAD, a person may experience symptoms such as:
- Oversleeping or withdrawing socially
- Having an increased appetite or overeat
- Craving foods high in carbohydrates
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD, like other forms of depression, does not need to dominate your life. There are resources available to help manage it. Some treatments you may want to try include:
- Light therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- TMS therapy
Each of these treatments is available at BoardPrep Recovery.
Using Light Therapy to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Light therapy is a common treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Exposure to intense, white light from a light therapy box can affect the mechanisms that regulate mood and sleep. Light therapy may be appropriate for individuals whose circumstances prevent them from taking antidepressants (e.g., while pregnant or breastfeeding). It may also work for people who want to reduce their medication dosage or stop it altogether, though any changes in a treatment plan should be discussed with a medical professional.
Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder with Therapy
When treating depression and other mental health disorders, you may need to address symptoms using a combination of therapy and medications. Mental health treatment professionals may recommend therapeutic options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or TMS therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist people in coping with challenging situations, including SAD, by disrupting negative thought patterns. It also helps patients to resolve the disconnect between their own negative thoughts and objective reality. With CBT, patients can better understand their own motivations and behaviors and create more effective strategies for problem-solving. There are very few risks associated with CBT, though the process of exploring your feelings and experiences may be emotionally uncomfortable or even physically draining. But, a responsible practitioner will be able to monitor your progress and guide you towards an appropriate resolution.
TMS therapy is a relatively new treatment option. Through this therapy, a treatment provider places a metal coil on your head and delivers a series of electromagnetic pulses to the area of the brain that depression impacts. This treatment option has been proven to address treatment-resistant depression.
Get Help for Seasonal Affective Disorder at BoardPrep Recovery
SAD characteristically resolves itself with the change of seasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious problem. Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder or other depressive disorders can help you or someone you love to manage the symptoms of depression now and into the future. BoardPrep Recovery offers a variety of mental health and addiction treatment options, including CBT, holistic treatment, and family treatment programs. We’re here to help. Contact BoardPrep Recovery using our online form or call us at 866.796.4720.