7 Subtle Signs That You Have Seasonal Depression

7 Subtle Signs That You Have Seasonal Depression

When summer ends, some of us experience sudden changes in mood. This may be due to seasonal depression. This mental health disorder, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a subset of clinical depression that begins and ends at about the same time each year, from fall to spring.

What Is The Danger?

For a physically and mentally healthy person, the winter blues do not interfere with enjoying life or doing everyday activities. But if it becomes too pronounced, it will negatively affect school, work, home, and personal life, and sometimes it can lead to more serious disorders. Therefore, it cannot be ignored.

Some experts fear that the prolonged months of stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will make the cold months ahead especially difficult for people with SAD. And the relief they expect in the spring may not come in the usual time frame.

When To Start Worrying?

The signs of seasonal depression are usually the same as those of non-seasonal depression. In people having SAD, symptoms tend to be most severe in December-February and subside in March-April. There are times when people experience “Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder” and feel worst in the spring-summer period, and with the arrival of winter, they feel better.

But this rarely happens, so we will focus on the most common disorders. Experts point to some subtle signs that accompany SAD.

1. You Feel Constant Sadness

According to the observations of doctors, at this time, you not only feel sad and give up the usual joys but also sleep poorly, experience bouts of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness. This may indicate more serious problems than just blues.

While this is rare, some people may also experience “inverse seasonal affective disorder” and feel worst during the spring and summer months.

2. Your Appetite Changes

Changes in your diet also hint at the development of SAD. And, as a rule, this is not only a refusal to eat but, on the contrary, overeating, often with an increased craving for fast food. Many people experience an increased appetite for fast foods during SAD. Thus, this increase in the amount and frequency of food intake leads to weight gain.

3. You Turn To Alcohol To Combat Sadness

Another indication of the development of SAD is when a person turns to alcohol to combat sadness, forgetting its harmful effects. Alcohol itself acts as a depressant, so it will only worsen the situation. People who have SAD develop an addiction, especially during cold months, which then becomes hard to give up.

Along with depression, these people become prone to several other diseases as well. Thus, we recommend them getting proper treatment to deal with this addiction before things get out of hand. Besides, they can also contact rehab centers to know everything about alcohol addiction in detail.

4. You Don’t Care About Activities That You Loved

Your hobbies used to excite you, but at this time of year, they don’t bother you. Qualitative decrease in pleasure, lingering effect, and apathy are the hallmarks of seasonal depression. According to experts, you may also notice a decrease in sexual desires due to SAD.

5. You Feel Drained No Matter How Much You Sleep

You may have started sleeping longer, but you still can’t get out of bed in the morning and feel sluggish all day. The need for additional relaxation during the day is not uncommon, but pronounced drowsiness after a long rest, especially recurring from day to day, is an alarming symptom.

6. You Are More Irritable Than Usual

Are you mad at all sorts of little things? The eagerness to escape from work to your quiet home corner and explode when your partner forgets to do the dishes also indicates depression. Chronic moodiness, grumpiness, arguments, hot temper, and anger are typical signs of SAD.

7. You Are Unable To Concentrate On the Tasks

Some people who have seasonal depression report feeling “out of the way.” According to psychologists, in addition to physical and mental exhaustion, you can also be mentally exhausted. It is difficult for you to make quick decisions and think clearly – all brain reactions slow down and dissipate, as if in a fog.

How To Manage Your Condition?

If the above symptoms interfere with your daily life, it’s time to sound the alarm. Some serious illnesses (such as thyroid problems and anemia) have symptoms similar to seasonal depression. The doctor will be able to sort out possible causes before ruling out or starting treatment. If everything points to seasonal depression, here are some ways to deal with this disorder:

  • Try To Get More Sunlight: People with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have supersensitive biological clocks. They quickly go astray when the dose of sunlight is reduced.
  • Spending More Time Outdoors: Going out, especially in the morning, can help relieve symptoms. Even a gray, dull winter day gives 5-10 times more light than bright office lighting.
  • Make A Sleep Schedule: Maintaining a healthy and consistent sleep pattern can help you feel better. This means that you cannot go to bed late or early and maintain a sleeping schedule.
  • Tighten Your Body: Simple exercises such as walking in place, doing light yoga, or walking the dog can make all the difference. Just going down the stairs and outside will give you the opportunity to warm up and bask in the sun a little.
  • Add More Variety To Your Diet If Possible: The goal is not to eliminate or add certain foods but to balance the diet and improve overall well-being. People with SAD tend to crave sweets and simple carbohydrates. It is not forbidden, but you cannot fill your stomach with them alone.
  • Stay In Touch With Loved Ones: The pandemic has made safe communication a problem. But even keeping in touch with friends and family through text messages, phone calls, or video sessions can reduce the oppressive sense of loneliness that exacerbates during periods of isolation.

Summing Up

We are hopeful that this article will help you identify and deal with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you are having trouble, consider making an appointment with a mental health professional. He/she will be able to listen to you, analyze your feelings, and, if necessary, suggest possible treatment options.