Snowing today! Some children and adults are excited for a day off school, others are in awe of the beautifully covered trees or how peaceful it is to watch the snow fall. Yet others…are miserable. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to find peace, joy and serenity during the winter months. Many of us are familiar with depression. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that appears at the same time each year. The most common, is during the winter months. With SAD, a person typically experiences the symptoms of depression as winter is in full swing. These same individuals tend to have relief from their symptoms when spring returns.
Many clients ask me what causes SAD. Experts in the mental health field believe that the depression could be triggered by the day light exposure. Effecting more individuals who live in areas with longer periods without sunlight .Many people who suffer from Seasonal affective disorder display the same symptoms as those who struggle with depression. Some examples are:
- Changes in eating
- Changes in sleep
- Lower energy levels
- Changes in mood
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Nothing of interest
Like other forms of depression, the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can be mild or severe. Milder symptoms interfere less with someone’s ability to participate in everyday activities, but stronger symptoms can interfere much more.
If you feel like it’s interfering with your ability to participate in day to day activities, I encourage you to seek out help from a counselor. Our practice has multiple therapists available to help! In particular, our graduate counseling intern (Vanessa) provides $25/session counseling and our PLPCs (Melissa and Kim) can provide sliding scale for those who might need it.
Some helpful links on Seasonal Affective Disorder:
U.S. National Library of Medicine