10 Things You Need To Know About Seasonal Depression
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Health and Wellness

10 Things You Need To Know About Seasonal Depression

A warm or sunny day won't "cure" seasonal depression.

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10 Things You Need To Know About Seasonal Depression

The holidays are supposed to be about having fun and surrounding yourself with people who you love, but for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it can be a really stressful time. About 20% of people are diagnosed with at least mild SAD or winter depression, both of which can really make the holidays a lot to handle. Here are 10 things that you may not know about SAD, that may help you to understand your loved ones who suffer from it.

1. Yes, it is “real” depression.

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A huge misconception is that people with SAD aren't really depressed since it only affects us in the winter/fall. This causes people who suffer from it to believe that they're not really sick, and that can make coping with it even worse.

2. No, we’re not just sad about the weather.

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While gloomy weather CAN cause you to feel gloomy and less active, that it not what SAD is. SAD is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain, which can be made worse by lack of sunlight.

3. A warm or sunny day won’t “cure” seasonal depression.

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Are warm and sunny days great? Yes. Will having one warm or sunny day out of 100 days of winter and fall make my seasonal depression go away? No.

4. We can (and do) enjoy the holidays.

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As someone with seasonal depression, I LOVE the holidays. I love being able to spend time with my family and friends, and eat great food. SAD does not make us hate everything having to do with winter or fall.

5. We’re not just lazy because of the bad weather.

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Not being able to get out of bed because you’re so depressed is NOT laziness. Making people with depression believe that they’re lazy only makes their self-esteem worse.

6. We don’t necessarily hate winter.

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Do I hate winter? Yes. Does it have anything to do with SAD? No. It has everything to do with not being able to drive in snow. People who love winter can have SAD, and I’m sure it makes it even harder for them to be depressed during a time of the year that they love so much.

7. We’re not blowing off your holiday party, we just can’t get out of bed.

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Winter time means holiday parties. And dinner parties. And New Year parties. So if we don’t go to all of them, it’s not because we don’t want to. Most likely, we’re sitting in bed beating ourselves up and thinking that everyone is mad at us for not going.

8. New Year’s resolutions are even harder for us.

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New Year’s resolutions are hard when you’re not suffering from an illness that makes your self-esteem go down the drain. So imagine trying to make a weight loss pact when you don’t even have the energy to make a meal that isn’t frozen.

9. Some days are worse than others, so don’t act surprised if we’re suddenly feeling up to going out.

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I can be out with friends one day, and not be able to get up the next day. Depression doesn’t come when it’s convenient for us, it just comes when it wants to.

10. We are sick, so please don’t tell us we’re not.

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Every single person with a mental illness has heard “it's all in your head" a thousands times. Every single person with SAD has heard “it's just the winter time blues" a thousand times. It's not “just" anything. It is a mental illness, and we shouldn't have to explain ourselves every time someone's decides that mental illnesses aren't real.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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