Depression is far more than “the blues.” The chronic mental health condition can interfere with your physical and emotional well-being, leading to potentially serious complications.
While all types of depression can feel especially difficult during the winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often flares up from the fall to early winter. Whether you’re one of the estimated 10 million Americans who live with SAD or experience another form of depression that flares up during wintertime, effective treatments and management options are available.
Below, our expert team at Texas Mind Science gives you guidance on managing your depression symptoms during winter.
Depression affects people differently. It can also impact you in different ways at different times of your life. Some of the most common signs of a depressive disorder include:
- Changes in sleep (too much or too little)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Frequent crying or irritability
- Low or reduced sex drive
- Overwhelming sadness
- Unexplained fatigue
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Lack of interest in typically pleasurable activities
- Feelings of isolation
Winter’s Impact on Depression
Winter often brings colder temperatures, less exposure to sun or fresh air, and stress related to the holidays. All of these issues can make depression flare-ups more likely. This is especially true if you have SAD. If your symptoms tend to only occur during a particular season, most commonly winter, that’s considered SAD.
Depression associated with chronic pain can also rev up during the winter. If you tend to be weather-sensitive as far as pain goes, factors such as less activity and rheumatism during winter can make matters worse — physically and, as a result, emotionally.
Thankfully there’s a lot you can do to minimize the grasp of depression throughout the winter. Seeking professional help is very important, so be sure to discuss your symptoms with our qualified health care providers. Our team of experts works closely with you to better manage depression. Your provider might suggest a range of steps, such as:
- Lifestyle changes, including improved exercise and sleep habits
- Light therapy
- Antidepressant medication, such as an SSRI
- Mind-body relaxation techniques, such as meditation or art therapy
- Psychotherapy for support in dealing with difficult emotions
- Vitamin D supplements, if you have a deficiency
Even if you feel hopeless, know that there’s hope to be had. With the proper care and support, you can find your way to greater well-being during the winter and beyond. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Learn more about managing your depression this winter by reaching out to Texas Mind Science in Richardson and Flower Mound, Texas. We are here to answer any questions you have and get you the depression treatment you need.