Seasonal depression is a form of mood disorder that occurs during the fall or winter months.
Its symptoms are not much different from classic depression. The difference is that symptoms occur when daylight hours begin to decrease and peak in January-February. Then the severity of seasonal depression decreases.
The main signs of the condition include:
- Permanently depressed state.
- Melancholic mood.
- Increased irritability.
- Difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, excessive sleep.
- Low energy level.
- Lack of interest in things that usually bring pleasure and joy.
- Social isolation.
- Decreased libido.
- Difficulty concentrating.
Also, seasonal depression is characterized by changes in appetite, increased cravings for carbohydrates.
What causes seasonal depression?
The exact reasons for the development of this condition have not yet been clarified. But many experts believe that seasonal depression is due to decreased levels of sunlight during the fall and winter, which has a direct effect on the brain.
Elevated concentrations of melatonin, a hormone that controls wakefulness and sleep cycles, can also cause seasonal depression. Hence, there is a constant desire to sleep, apathy and fatigue. At the same time, not getting enough sunlight reduces the brain’s production of serotonin, which affects appetite, mood and sleep. In some cases, a small amount of sun disrupts the natural rhythm of the body and provokes depression.
How to deal with seasonal depression?
First of all, see your doctor. He will prescribe a course of mild antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. You can try to cope with the condition on your own. Modify your lifestyle first.
Try to get as much sunlight as possible during the day. For example, leave the office during your lunch break. Sports training contributes to the production of endorphins. Agree, the absence of depression is a good reason to sign up for a gym!
At work, try to sit next to windows or in good light. Also, eat a balanced and healthy diet, meditate, take a relaxing bath periodically and seasonal depression will subside!