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How to Recognize The Signs of Seasonal Depression

a person sitting in a window nook with their arms around their knees experiencing seasonal depression

Did you know that the changing of the seasons can affect your mood? Most people only experience minor changes in their mood, but for some people, the change in seasons can lead to a serious form of depression known as seasonal depression. Seasonal depression can be a challenging experience to make it through on your own, and understanding its causes can help you to avoid seasonal depression and better understand how to combat its effects.

At Northpoint Recovery, our depression treatment programs can help provide the tools and guidance needed to improve the symptoms of seasonal depression. With treatment interventions such as CBT and others, our team is well-equipped to help provide the treatment support required to achieve relief from seasonal depression. For more information, reach out to our team of treatment experts today at 888.687.8014.

What Is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that typically begins in the late fall and carries on through the winter months. It is caused by a decrease in sunlight exposure and an increase in the amount of time spent indoors, in addition to a variety of other factors. Symptoms of seasonal depression can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased irritability
  • Lack of energy
  • Sadness
  • Apathy
  • Difficulty controlling emotions

Because seasonal depression is tied to the weather and changes in daylight hours associated with the winter season, experts believe seasonal depression is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight due to shorter days and longer nights during this time. This can affect the body’s circadian rhythm—its natural 24-hour cycle, which helps regulate hormones and other functions—leading to feelings of sluggishness and despair. In addition, decreased levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating moods) due to lower temperatures have also been linked to SAD symptoms.

How To Avoid Seasonal Depression

To help manage seasonal depression, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with common warning signs such as a consistent lack of energy or irritability. People at high risk for SAD should be aware that these symptoms might worsen over several weeks or months during the fall and winter seasons. It’s also essential for those affected by seasonal depression to know that many forms of treatment are available such as exercise programs, light therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or medications like antidepressants or Vitamin D supplements.

Taking small steps each day towards self-care can make a big difference when dealing with seasonal depression. This can include:

  • Getting outside more often
  • Scheduling activities that bring joy into your life
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising
  • Speaking openly with friends and family members about how you’re feeling
  • Seeking professional help if needed
  • Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga
  • Avoiding alcohol consumption
  • Staying connected with supportive people in your life

Overall, taking care of yourself is critical when addressing seasonal depression—being mindful of your psychological state by recognizing signs early on can help prevent more severe episodes from occurring down the road. But it’s essential not to forget that seeking professional help is often necessary in order for people struggling with SAD to find relief from their symptoms quickly and effectively.

Beating Seasonal Depression With the Help of Northpoint Recovery

At Northpoint Recovery, we recognize the unique issues of battling seasonal depression and offer various services to address them. Through evidence-based interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), trauma-informed care, and family therapy, we strive to provide effective care tailored to each individual’s needs. Our goal is to create a supportive environment where individuals can explore their thoughts and feelings without judgment or stigma. For more information on our depression treatment program, reach out to our team of experts today at 888.687.8014.