When the weather starts to turn, it can cause a shift in the brain. Sometimes, that shift isn’t always for the better. Seasonal depression is sometimes called “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD), and it’s different from the seasonal funk that can sometimes set in when the days get shorter. Many people might experience an increase in addictive behaviors when faced with this type of depression, which we refer to as a “co-occurring disorder” or sometimes as a “dual diagnosis.” At Lakeview Health, we can address how this mental health condition works, how you can identify it, and what you can do to treat the symptoms.
The Basics of Seasonal DepressionSeasonal depression refers to a type of depression that is brought about at different times of the year. It’s a regular occurrence: one that starts and ends at regular intervals. People are most likely to experience it when autumn rolls around, and in these cases, the condition usually continues into the winter. However, it is possible — although less common — to get it during spring or summer. Women are more likely to experience seasonal depression than men. And younger people are more likely to experience it than older people. If you’re used to feeling depressed as soon as you know that summer is coming to an end, it’s important to keep track of your feelings.
Symptoms of Seasonal DepressionSymptoms of seasonal depression are similar to those of generalized depression. They include but are not limited to:
- Loss of interest in activities
- Low energy
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Feelings of hopelessness