Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Depression
Shadow figure looking depressed while sitting in a chairAs the holiday season comes to an end, new challenges approach for some. Around this time of year is when a lot of people experience seasonal depression. Seasonal depression is when someone experiences depression correlated with a certain time of year. The depression is triggered by a lack of exposure to daylight. This can be especially hard for those in school. Keeping up with the workload, participating in extracurriculars, and taking care of mental and physical health can be a difficult task.

Depression is characterized as persistent depressive moods but there are a lot of other symptoms that can go along with it as well. For example, changes in mood beyond just sadness. Irritability and oversensitivity are extremely common in those with depression. Depression can also cause lack of interest in activities, sleep changes, appetite changes, difficulty concentrating, etc. For teens attending school, this could cause grades and performance in extracurriculars to decrease which can be very damaging and stressful. This is why it is important to stay on top of mental health and look out for others. Depression looks different with every person and sometimes people have no noticeable symptoms. No matter how it presents itself, it is still disruptive and frustrating for everyone.

There are several treatment options for those experiencing seasonal depression. Doctors recommend light therapy, which is when the patient sits a few feet away from a special light box within the first hour of waking up. The box mimics the light outside and can cause change in the brain chemicals. This treatment has positive results with most patients. Other treatments are standard with depression and they include antidepressant medication and therapy. Scheduling an appointment with a doctor or psychiatrist is the best way to go about starting treatment.

The unique aspect of seasonal depression is that there seems to be no major cause. To most, the seasons changing seems minor but it can trigger very real depression. Once again, depression symptoms can be noticeable or undetectable so the best thing to do is check in on others.

If you are experiencing depression in any form, make sure to reach out to someone for help. If there are no people in your personal life that you feel comfortable talking to, call any depression hotline number. There are people available 24 hours a day willing to talk with complete confidentiality.

By: Mary McElfresh