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Seasonal Depression: Seasonal Affective Disorder Signs & Symptoms

25Seasonal DepressionSeasonal depression, also known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), is a form of depression that happens every year at a certain time: it could start by the end of fall and last all through the winter, and then come to an end when spring arrives. Often joked as the “winter blues” and “cabin fever,” seasonal depression is actually a mental health issue that can take a physical toll on someone, not just emotionally. There is also a rare form of seasonal depression known as “summer depression.” How do you know if you’re suffering from SAD?

Understanding Seasonal Depression

Roughly half a million Americans suffer from Seasonal depression in the winter, while 10-20% of Americans just go through a form of the “winter blues.” They are often mistaken for each other, which is why it is important to not diagnose yourself. Though there are many different causes for seasonal depression, the signs can show you if you may be suffering from SAD:

Sadness
Irritability
Loss of interest
Anxiety
Increased need for sleep
Craving carbs, leading to weight gain
Unable to concentrate
Lack of energy

Summer SAD includes:

Trouble sleeping
Agitation
Weight loss and lack of appetite
Restlessness

If you are showing signs or having symptoms of depression, see your doctor immediately. Depression can also sometimes be symptoms of a much greater problem such as mental health or other mood disorders. It’s quite common that people will cope with Seasonal depression by using drugs or alcohol. If you compare the signs and symptoms of addiction with the ones for seasonal depression, some are quite similar. Depression is considered one of the huge symptoms for the disease of addiction.

Depression and Addiction Treatment

Although the suggested treatment for seasonal depression is Light Therapy (exposure to a lot of natural or artificial  light), a safer route if you are also experiencing drug or alcohol abuse would to be getting help through a dual-diagnosis program at a treatment center. Side effects for light therapy include eye strain, irritability, fatigue, headache, and insomnia. The side effects for a treatment facility would be a new start at life, happiness, new friends, respect, love, piece of mind, and the list goes on. In stead of just light therapy, try face-to-face therapy, where you can not only talk about what’s going on, but free your mind and find piece. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or addiction, contact The Watershed today.




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