Seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, happens to millions of Americans every Winter. It happens due to a drop in temperature keeping people inside and the lack of sunlight giving you vitamin D. Seasonal affective disorder occurs primarily in Winter. If you experience symptoms beyond that, you likely have depression. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk specializes in urgent care and illness treatment services, but we are also able to provide resources for mental health. Call or visit our center today to get the information you may need.
Symptoms of Seasonal Depression
Depression can affect every person differently. Symptoms are not the same for every case, and they can vary in severity. Common symptoms of seasonal depression can include:
- Low energy and excessive sleeping
- Feeling anxious or sluggish
- Loss of interest in activities
These symptoms can affect how patients react in their everyday life. It can impact daily routines and relationships with others. It may be helpful to know that these symptoms will not last more than a few months, but overcoming these signs can improve your quality of life for the duration of the season.
Tips to Overcome Symptoms
There are a few different ways to try and overcome seasonal depression, and it’s important to try other things to see what works for you. Always speak with a medical provider before adding any supplements or vitamins to your daily routine.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet and exercise will benefit both the mental and physical aspects of a patient’s body. Overindulging in foods high in sugar or fat can have you feeling sluggish or sick. Gaining weight is also a side effect of seasonal depression, and these types of foods are not beneficial. A balanced diet can have you feeling healthy and your brain functioning properly to produce the correct chemicals it needs.
Additionally, light exercise everyday can help to release endorphins, which will combat seasonal depression. Adding a short walk to your routine to get outside and into the sunlight can have a serious impact on the rest of your season.
Light Therapy and Aromatherapy
Since seasonal depression is caused by a lack of sunlight and vitamin D, using light therapy can trick your brain into getting more light than it is. This is one of the most effective methods to combatting seasonal depression. There are specialized light fixtures that can produce artificial light, but also, getting outside can help to provide the proper sunlight.
Aromatherapy is also used for a variety of reasons beyond seasonal depression. Aromatherapy stimulates the sense of smell to help the brain release chemicals that make us happy. Additionally, essential oils can improve sleep and promote relaxation, which can be side effects of depression.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed to patients, which can include antidepressants. Vitamin D supplements can also be used if light therapy and increasing sunlight intake are not enough. Always speak with a medical provider before trying any sort of medication.