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Seasonal Depression: Facts vs Myths

By: Sai Bullock

Mental Health Counseling Intern

As the weather is quickly changing, the leaves are falling, and the sun will be out a bit less, there is a condition that commonly affects about 10 million Americans yearly. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a type of depression specifically linked to the weather changes brought on by the fall and winter months. Many consider it just a form of winter blues, but it is so much more than that. Studies show that seasonal depression is a result of a biochemical imbalance in the brain resulted from shorter daylight hours and less amounts of sunlight. This can severely impact one’s daily functioning.

The following are just some of the common symptoms one can look for when it comes to seasonal depression.

Changes in appetite (such as eating more carb based comforting foods than usual)

Changes in sleep patterns (choosing to sleep much more than usual)

Loss of energy or increased fatigue despite more hours of sleep

Difficulty thinking or concentrating

Feelings of lowliness

Seasonal depression can be treated in many ways depending on the person who suffers from this often. One of these forms of treatment include light therapy. Light therapy, which includes sitting in front of a very bright light for at least 20 minutes or more, can prove to be very helpful to those who suffer from SAD. This is just one of the many ways one can combat seasonal depression.

Image Credit: Women's Health Today

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