Seasonal depression is the impact of the changing of seasons on someone’s mental health, more often than not, the impact of winter and colder weather making someone feel as if they are depressed as their mood changes with the weather. This mental state is mostly caused by the lost feelings that summer brings, such as comfortably being outside, feeling warm all the time, and the benefits of sunshine on the body.
Dealing with and managing seasonal depression is a hard task, but it is not impossible. Some doctors and mental health professionals, such as Dr. Benjamin Cory Harow, have some solutions and things to try in order to improve one’s mood during the colder months.
Heat/Season Affective Disorder Lamp
Since many people suffer from the implications of winter and the seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder that comes with the cold weather, there are products made in order to emulate the feeling of summer and warmer weather. Using a heat or sun lamp is an option for those feeling these negative effects, as they can set it up at home and sit with it, allowing the simulation of heat and sun, even when it is cold out. This way, the body may handle the colder weather better, as it still gets the beneficial effects of sunlight when it is at home.
In extreme cases, where seasonal depression leaves people unable to get out of bed, perform their normal, day to day activities, and feel like themselves, seeing a psychiatrist may be a good idea. Telling the professional the issues one is having dealing with the winter and cold weather, it may be an option for them to prescribe an antidepressant.
Antidepressants change the brain chemistry of a patient in order to allow chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine to be released, making them feel happier and more in tune with life. These medications are for extreme cases, but they provide a large help to those who feel like they can’t function normally in the cold weather.
Therapy or Intervention
In conjunction with or without medication, therapy is something that can help anyone work through their negative emotions about the changing weather. Seeing a therapist to talk through the negative feelings someone is specifically having during the winter will allow them to come to personal solutions or understanding of themselves and their emotions. Working through it with a therapist will open up the possibility of change, just as it would for anyone with normal depression.
Getting up and getting one’s body moving is a way to keep the body feeling healthy and functioning. Though it may be difficult while dealing with depression, starting with things such as short walks or trips to the gym just to get blood flowing will make the body feel as if it can conquer the season and work through the negative feelings of the cold weather.
Seasonal Depression Affects Many People
Seasonal depression is a hard thing to work through, especially since winter weather comes around every year in certain areas. Finding ways to move through it and manage the feelings of sorrow associated with cold weather can empower people to overcome the feelings and feel better year-round.
To learn more about Benjamin Cory Harow, check out his Feedster article.