Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression which can also be referred to as Winter Depression is a type of depression that usually begins and ends at the same time, every year. It starts during the late fall and continues through the winter months.
During winter a very typical phenomenon is winter blues which is encountered by a lot of people. Individuals feel gloomy and dull or moody. It almost feels like the cold breeze outside is debilitating. However, seasonal depression is a grave concern. It differs from the winter blues in terms of intensity, symptoms, and duration.
Seasonal depression is a depressive mood disorder. The individuals suffering have a normal mood throughout the year but just as the winter sets in, they experience extremely low mood, hopelessness, withdrawal, worthlessness, sleep or appetite issues, and such alike. It’s just like depression, the only striking feature is that the onset is during winter.
It has been observed as the winter comes to an end so do the depressive symptoms.
There has been a lot of research that aims to find out a cause for this seasonal mood disorder.
While some say that it could be due to the scarce sunlight which disrupts the body’s internal clock leading to feelings of depression, others argue that it could be a result of the reduced serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter) which is essential for mood regulation.
Howbeit, despite these theories, winter depression is still a mystery for an array of scientists.
Seasonal depression is common but managing it is an enigma for many. Psychotherapy, light therapy, medications, and counseling are some ways to treat it. However, sticking to a schedule, participating in social activities, sunbathing, and journaling are some ways that can prove to be helpful along with therapy. If one is getting overwhelmed, one needs to seek professional help before the situation goes out of hand.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Shubhangi Mukherjee is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.