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Do you feel overwhelmed with your emotions, sad, and less motivated to do any task in the winter season? Episodes of depression that resurface in every winter season are known as winter depression or seasonal affective disorder.
Don’t take SAD lightly if it is frequent in every winter. Research suggests that women suffer more from winter depression than men.
Take some steps to brush off that mood swings and keep yourself motivated during the winter season.
Winter Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder
Winter depression previously was not recognized as a medical condition until in the 1980s physician Norman Rosenthal noticed that condition within himself.
He moved from South Africa to the USA and began to feel depressed during the winter and recovered in the summer time.
He started doing research and coined the term ‘winter depression.
The winter blues condition is similar to depression but in this case, depressed feelings, inactive, agitation, and hopelessness arise during the winter season.
This means a person's mood is affected badly in winter and in summer they become quite normal, this is known as winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
How Common is Winter Depression?
In India, more than 10 million people experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Seasonal affective disorder occurs in 0.5 to 3 percent of individuals in the general population.
Causes of Winter Depression
Seasonal affective disorder or winter depression is more common in younger people and women. It has various causes -:
- You are at risk of winter depression if you have other mood disorder or bipolar disorder
- People who are living in winter regions and especially in the north and away from the equator
- If your family has a history of depression and any psychological conditions
- Melatonin is produced at night, lack of sunlight may stimulate overproduction of it, and its production cause dizziness
- Imbalance in the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects your moods, produces less during winter due to less sunlight, and this worsens your SAD condition
Symptoms of Winter Depression
According to the American Psychiatric Association, winter depression is officially diagnosed as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns.
Symptoms of winter depression -:
- Feeling of sadness, anxiety, and agitation
- Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Social withdrawal
- Trouble concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
Steps You Should Take If You Have Winter Depression
Winter depression is not dangerous, people who are suffering from it can recover from it own when the summer comes.
But people with other psychological conditions situation can get worse when the winter season arrived,in that case you should take some steps, which help them to cope with this condition -:
1. Go Get Some Light
Winter season means you can not get enough sunlight, which means your mood swings occur often.
It is best you should take some time off from your days and take some sunlight in the morning and afternoon.
Sunlight helps you boost your mood.
2. Change Your Outlook
Psychologist Patricia Thronton, PhD, a licensed psychologist in New York City gives her opinion - “ try to change your outlook toward winter in a positive way. Humans are very focused on loss. In this case, the loss of sunlight and being outside, so try to think about what you can do about being inside,” she said. “Rather than thinking, ‘It’s cold and I’ll be stuck inside,’ try to think of being inside as, say, cozy,”
3. Daily Exercise
Daily exercise can elevate your mood and helps you to fight this disease.
Exercise is the key to keeping your mental health perfect and helps you to elevate your mood
4. Plan Ahead
If you are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it is a must you should plan ahead.
You should keep a check on your mood, when winter gets started, and any improvements in your symptoms
5. Self Care
In your busy schedule, you tend to forget about yourself.
Self-care is a must for everyone.
- Snatch time for spending some time with your loved ones
- Include healthy foods in your diet
- A daily walk for at least 30 min. is sufficient to elevate your mood
- Laugh more and lift your spirit
- Write a daily journal and reflect on your thoughts
Can Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Come Back?
People who are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can get affected by it every winter. For that condition, you can take some steps to prevent it.