Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Seasonal Depression is A Very Real Thing

Thought Catalog
Thought Catalog

Every year, there’s that one morning when you begrudgingly slump out of your bed and glance at the calendar perched up on your wall, screaming the message that you’ve been dreading all summer and autumn: winter has officially begun, and there is no turning back. It seems that once the temperature plummets from its usual warmth and the sky becomes dark, your mood follows these same exact behaviors. All sense of motivation you had is quickly stripped away, and it seems as though when the summer disappeared, it managed to take your happiness with it.

Why do these feelings of depression and isolating behaviors only happen for a few months out of the year? Is this just dramaticized winter blues?

To quickly summarize: There is a real medical explanation behind this shift in mood that occurs over a short period of the year.

Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs and ends around the same time each year.

Although it’s most common for SAD to occur during the winter months, there have been cases of SAD occurring during the spring and summer months. All together, there are a reported three million cases of SAD in the U.S. each year. A struggle that often occurs with SAD is that those who show symptoms of SAD simply believe that they are over-exaggerating, or that their symptoms will permanently disappear in time. Or, they don’t even recognize that their symptoms are symptoms, because they don’t know that SAD exists.

Major symptoms of SAD include: Feelings of depression/hopelessness, feeling worthless, loss of motivation, loss of energy, lack of sleep/appetite, increased agitation, difficulty concentrating, and more. These symptoms are often seen as “wintertime blues”, but are often much more severe than that.

Fortunately, SAD is easily identifiable and can be treated through various forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy and light therapy.

SAD is a commonly overlooked mental illness but is just as important and should receive just as much attention as any other mental illness. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of SAD, Mayo Clinic offers great resources on how to reach out for help.

Related Posts