What Is Seasonal Depression?
Author: GIA Miami
Published: December 24, 2020

Do you ever find yourself feeling moodier and more down at certain times of the year? It could be that you are dealing with the effects of seasonal depression. Real seasonal depression cannot — and should not — be written off as just winter doldrums. It’s a condition that can affect your daily life and keep you from moving forward. If these feelings are something you experience around the same time each year, you should consider getting professional help for your condition. At GIA Miami, you can get treatment to help you manage your symptoms more effectively.

What Is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression is a type of depression that strikes individuals around the start of fall or winter. You may have heard seasonal depression referred to as “seasonal affective disorder” or “SAD.” The effects of seasonal depression usually fade with the onset of spring or summer. Researchers have speculated that the mental issue may be brought on by specific hormonal changes that happen at certain times of the year.

Other speculations about the cause of seasonal depression include the idea that a lack of sunlight during fall and winter could be a trigger. The sun increases the production of serotonin, a chemical that helps the brain’s pathways regulate your moods. Anything that interrupts those functions could bring on your feelings of sadness and general malaise.

Most people start experiencing seasonal depression once they are out of their teens and become young adults. The effects of the disorder can vary between individuals, though women may be more vulnerable to developing seasonal depression than men. One person might experience very minor symptoms, while another may get to the point where they are unable to function in their daily lives.

Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

Even though many cases of seasonal depression happen during the autumn or winter months, some people find themselves experiencing the disorder during the spring or summer. The symptoms of seasonal depression resemble those of traditional depression. You may find yourself experiencing the following:

  • Feeling little to no energy for accomplishing tasks or handling social interactions
  • Difficulty concentrating on important things
  • Not wanting to spend time with anyone
  • Finding yourself needing a lot of sleep
  • Gaining weight because you are eating more

People who go through seasonal depression during the summer may have different symptoms. Instead of eating more, they may find themselves lacking an appetite. You may also find yourself having trouble falling asleep. A mental health professional can help determine whether your symptoms are caused by seasonal depression.

Getting Treatment for Seasonal Depression

The kind of seasonal depression treatment recommended by your doctor or mental health specialist will depend on the severity of your symptoms. For example, those who experience the disorder during the winter might be encouraged to get more natural sunlight exposure. If you live in a place where sunlight is in short supply during the winter months, light therapy might be recommended as an alternative.

When you go in for light therapy treatment, the doctor typically positions you around two feet away from a light source. The sessions usually start at 10- to 15-minute increments. If you find yourself benefiting from the treatment, you can start increasing the length of your sessions.

Another treatment often recommended for seasonal depression is a prescription for an anti-depressant. Combining light treatment and medication can provide you with some relief from your disorder. Increased exercise, a balanced diet, and more socialization are some lifestyle changes your physician may also recommend.

Find Help for Seasonal Depression at GIA Miami

GIA Miami offers treatment for seasonal depression and a variety of other mental health disorders. Some of the therapies and services we offer include:

If you feel you might benefit from treatment at GIA Miami, contact us online today or call us at 833.713.0797.

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