For me, winter is not the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, it’s the worst. The biting cold, the cloudy days, being stuck inside – every winter, I suffer seasonal depression. And I’m not alone. Almost 10 million Americans suffer seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder, each year. This is what you need to know.
1. It’s not funny.
Seasonal depression is not the reason for someone’s bad mood. “It’s cloudy so the boss is bitchy.” This is a severely false narrative. Depression is real and manifests itself in numerous ways. It’s nothing to joke about. It’s a serious health problem.
2. It’s not just about bad weather.
Often, SAD is just a cyclical, seasonal accent to clinical depression and bipolar disorder.
3. You can treat SAD.
Light therapy is considered the gold standard for treating SAD. This method gives people artificial sunlight and can help correct circadian rhythms and create feel-good hormones. In addition to light therapy, other types of depression treatments may be needed.
4. SAD can be debilitating.
Depression isn’t just about feeling sad. It can be debilitating. Even the most mundane, simple things can feel like an incredible chore.
5. SAD needs to be taken seriously.
It’s important to take it as seriously as you would any other mental health condition, because it’s a serious condition. It’s not some trivial problem. It’s part of a much larger disorder.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives