Do you know about Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal Depression

Over the past decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of people, and there is concern about mental health conditions. Most people, if not completely, have some level of knowledge about depression. However, certain facets of depression are still so little discussed and unheard of among common people.

What is Seasonal depression?

As winter arrives, some people begin experiencing symptoms of low moods called Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) or Seasonal depression. If you feel the changing weather is taking a huge toll on your mental wellness then you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression, is a type of depressive disorder that occurs during seasonal changes. It usually begins around the same time of the year, almost every year, when the season ends. The depression usually starts impending and remains until winter storms come. The changes in weather, coupled with gloomy days and a lack of sunshine, cause a first-rate low mood. Seasonal depression ends with the onset of spring and the summer.

What are the causes and risk factors of seasonal depression?

Seasonal affective disorder occurs during adulthood. The risk factor for seasonal depression increases with age.

Lack of sunlight

During the fall and winter seasons, there is less sunlight visible on the horizon. The laxity of summer, along with cold and harsh winters, may affect our mood.

Sleep hormone

Sunlight is effective in maintaining our sleep cycle. The hormone known as melatonin is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle, which is regulated with the help of sunlight. Melatonin levels decrease during the active hours of the day. However, low levels of melatonin during the day cause daytime sleepiness, disrupting our biological clock.

Bipolar disorder

People with Bipolar disorder are at increased risk of developing seasonal depression. It is because, in Bipolar disorder, the episodes of mania and depression might be related to seasonal changes. Furthermore, the seasonal change may also worsen the main depression episode, which was already unpredictable.

What are the symptoms of seasonal depression?

During the fall, Seasojak Disorder is also called a winter dispersion.
During spring, seasonal depression is known as seasonal depression.
Excessive daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, or sleepless nights due to a disrupted sleeping pattern.

  • Lack of interest

    Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities Decreased excitability because one is too depressed to enjoy anything.
  • Decreased social interaction
  • Irritation and anxiety
  • Guilt and hopelessness

A feeling of guilt and hopelessness is characteristic of depressive disorder. A person might feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness. The feeling of worthlessness about being burdened by the absence of love and care is so common in cases of depression.

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • People with depression always feel tired with low amounts of energy, even without doing anything
  • Decreased sexual interest

There is a reduction in the sexual drive of a person, affecting the intimacy of a relationship. Further, a lack of communication can destroy relationships with acquaintances and spouses.

  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Appetite change

Changes in appetite or weight loss either because of eating less or weight gain due to binge eating.

  • Headaches without any reason

What are the complications of seasonal depression?

Social withdrawal

Seasonal depression hampers our relationships with friends, families, and loved ones. Individuals with depression tend to completely withdraw themselves from any kind of social interaction, resulting in further isolation.

School or work problems

Seasonal depression, like other forms of depression, affects certain areas of our lives. It disrupts our personal and professional lives as well, making it difficult to focus on studies, careers, and other aspirations.

Substance abuse

One of the most serious problems occurring in depression is substance abuse. Many people suffering from depression are driven to seek solace in substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and other harmful substances to cope with their distress and problems.

Suicidal thoughts and self-harm

Suicidal ideation is the most extreme form of symptoms manifested due to depression. People develop self-harming tendencies and symptoms of suicidal thoughts to end their misery.

What is the treatment for seasonal depression?

Seasonal affective disorders can be treated by a traditional approach involving treating disease with a combination of medications and counseling sessions to treat symptoms.

Psychotherapy or counseling

Psychotherapy is conducted by mental health professionals and psychologists. Psychotherapy sessions help manage the symptoms of depression by breaking down the thought process. It helps the client deal with their irrational behaviors and how to resolve them.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy(CBT)

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that deals with treatment-seeking depression. It works on the thinking process (cognition) and links it to behavior. It helps to change the inner thoughts of an individual through awareness of their internal feelings.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

A newly emerging branch of psychotherapy focuses on accepting the core beliefs of a person rather than avoidance. Through acceptance of inner thought, one can channel the stress.


Medications are a very effective method to deal with any kind of depression. Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications help reduce the visible and discomforting symptoms of depression. It works by correcting the chemical imbalances in the body caused by depression.As the seasons change, so can our moods. One can feel like hibernating every winter! 

Sunlight and light therapy

Recommendations are made to spend a sufficient amount of time in sunlight to decrease seasonal blues. If everyday exposure to a sufficient amount of sunlight is not possible, then an artificial source of light is used to treat seasonal depression.

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