While we are entering the holiday season, for many it is a very exciting busy time full of fun, family, and treats. However, for others this time of the year can be triggering or even depression inducing.
According to Cleveland clinic, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s triggered by a change in seasons, usually when fall starts. This seasonal depression gets worse in the late fall or early winter before ending in the sunnier days of spring. SAD affects an estimated 10 million Americans, with women four times more likely to be diagnosed with it than men. The changing light and colder temperatures can also affect the moods of people who are not medically diagnosed with SAD.
SAD is something that should not be overlooked. Some symptoms include, lack of interest in usual activities, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and fatigue – to name a few. These feelings can be more intense in a climate like New England, where winter can be fairly harsh. There are several changes that occur in the winter time that induce this for some individuals. Getting sunlight in your day increases serotonin, and the early darkness of winter months reduces this. Work and school speed up during this time, as the end of the semester closes in. Alongside this comes preparation and events of the holidays which can be incredibly stress inducing.
Whether or not you think you have seasonal depression, be sure to take care of yourself and others during this time. The winter months can be darker for some mentally as well as physically. Checking in on them could make all the difference for a friend or stranger to feel seen, appreciated and loved. Take care of one another.