Changes in mood can come and go as the seasons changed. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a persistent down mood that coincides with the seasons, usually beginning in late fall and early winter. If you’ve noticed a depressed mood in the winter, you’re likely not imagining it. SAD affects an estimated 10 million Americans. You don’t have to ride it out until spring. Effective treatment options can provide relief and help you better.
Here at Arundel Medical Group Primary Care and Specialist, our providers understand the impact of winter depression. A lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy and struggling to accomplish even the smallest things can take a significant toll on your quality of life. Whether you have new or recurrent winter depression, we can help.
SAD is different from typical low mood
Commonly referred to as the “winter blues,” seasonal affective disorder expands beyond feeling down about the chill in the air and lack of sunlight. SAD is a major depressive disorder linked to seasonal changes.
If you have SAD, you may experience:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Overwhelming sadness
- Unexplained fatigue
- Changes in sleep (oversleeping or lack of sleep)
- Weight gain from excess food cravings
- Weight loss from lack of appetite
- Lack of interest in most activities
- Feelings of isolation
- Difficulty concentrating
Symptoms often vary from one person to the next. The bottom line is that we all feel like curling up from time to time during the winter, but if symptoms are interfering with your life, you may be dealing with SAD.
Seeking professional help
Our providers have extensive experience helping relieve depression, whether it’s related to the seasons or not. If you notice that your depression seems to be linked to the seasons, the first step is to see one of our providers for a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a complete history and family history of mental health. This is important because 55% of those with SAD have family affected by a mood disorder such as depression.
If your provider finds that your depression is tied to seasonal changes, therapy, and medications are practical approaches.
Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that provides you with the opportunity to discuss the factors that may be contributing to your seasonal depression. By examining your emotional health, you and your provider can see the challenges that are holding you back and discover solutions.
Patients have more options than ever when it comes to medications that can help with SAD, including antidepressants. Each of our patients is different, and we work with you until the right combination of medications improves your mental health.
The most important thing you can do for your SAD is to take the first step and contact us at 410-216-1923. Or you can request an appointment using our online scheduling tool.