As we transition seasons and enter the last few months of the year, some are feeling grand about this natural shift. But that doesn't mean everyone is thrilled that the weather is cooling down — it's important to extend your knowledge to the phenomenon that is seasonal depression.
The lack of sunlight during the later seasons of the year, beginning with autumn, triggers a state of depression for about 15% of the population. This results in the lack of serotonin provided by the sun, causing it to be hard for some to do a lot of the things that would normally be deemed simple tasks to do during the earlier times in the year like getting out of bed, showering, going to work/school, etc. A major difference is an intense need for sleep similar to a hibernation effect.
Though seasonal depression is specifically something that occurs in certain periods throughout the year, it is important to not brush it off or look past it.
Seasonal depression, like other disorders, varies from case to case. However, it is common for it to get worse if it isn't dealt with in a serious manner. It is important to note that you do not have to wait until later months for things to finally start looking up for you.
Some common modes of treatment for seasonal depression include medication, psychotherapy, light therapy which actually extremely recommended by doctors for seasonal depression and allows you to take lower dosages of antidepressants if needed on top of this.
SSRIs, which stands for serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are antidepressants that increase your levels of serotonin.
Though obviously, not everyone is keen on seeking outside help, there are common, helpful ways to try dealing with it on your own as well. You can purchase your own light therapy box to have at home, which is actually super resourceful. Get outside as much as you can during the day. Take vitamin D supplements. Stick to a daily routine. Keep your blinds open. Sunlight really does play a huge part in seasonal depression.
Seasonal depression is no joke — your loved ones need your support. Here are five simple, effective ways to show them you're there for them.