Your neighbors put their lights up, the weather is freezing, and everywhere you go you hear the same five songs… yes, it’s the holiday season again! This is also a time of year that is very difficult for some people, and today we’re going to talk about the struggle those with Seasonal Affective Disorder experience during the holidays.
To put it simply, Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons; it follows a recurring pattern with the changing of seasons, often beginning in the late fall/early winter, and departing with the arrival of spring. To be diagnosed, you must meet the same criteria as those for major depression, but coinciding with those certain seasons for at least two years. They must also be significantly more regular than other non-seasonal depressions.
The symptoms of SAD are largely the same as with major depression. They include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, almost every day
- Feeling hopeless/worthless
- Low energy
- Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
- Problems with sleep
- Changes in weight/appetite
- Feeling sluggish or annoyed
- Trouble concentrating
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
SAD effects everyone, but those more at risk of the condition include women, those who live far from the equator, those with a family history of depression, or those younger in age. The causes of SAD are not currently known, but all of the current theories are related to biology. Regardless of the cause, Seasonal Affective Disorder is not your fault, you are not alone, and you deserve to get help.
The four major types of treatment for SAD are medication, light therapy, psychotherapy, and vitamin D. They may be used alone or in combination with each other, and it may take some time speaking with your doctors/therapist to find the correct route of treatment for you. Here is a link that will take to where you purchase lights used for light therapy Light Therapy Lamp Yes of course Amazon, they have everything even the Vitamin D.
If you feel you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 to be put through to someone who cares.
Alternatively, you can text HOME to 741741 to be put through via text messaging to a trained crisis counselor. You deserve to be happy, and this feeling will pass.
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Written by Kaitlyn Troth of Troth Media