Post Seasonal Depression – Signs and Seeking Help

Aubrey Misner

Post seasonal depression and depression are two different things, and it’s common for
people to get confused.

Post seasonal depression (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to
changes in seasons, which seems kind of ironic, right? How seasons can cause depression. Some symptoms that can occur is being less active than normal and sleeping more. It can also be called winter depression. It’s called this because the symptoms are more likely to appear around the winter time. The symptoms tend to worsen as well before it gets better.

What causes seasonal depression is not fully understood yet, but it could be the less
exposure of the sunlight during the shorter times of the year. When having sunlight, it can affect someone’s brain and chemicals and hormones. When there is light it can stimulate the part of the brain which is called hypothalamus. This controls the mood, appetite, and sleep which are all things that affect how you feel. When SAD is rising in someone, changes in serotonin and melatonin levels disrupt the daily life of someone. They can not adjust to the seasonal change in day lengths, leading to sleep, mood, and behavior changes. A question often asked is if you should be concerned about this condition more than the other ones. The National Institutes of Mental Health says this, “millions of American adults may suffer from SAD, although many may not know they have the condition. SAD occurs much more often in women than in men, and it is more common in those living farther north, where there are shorter daylight hours in the winter.”

SAD can be more common in people who already have a major depressive disorder or
bipolar disorder. A big part of this could be climate change affecting our mental health. They
think longer winters, hotter summers, and some other natural disasters are just the basic things
that could be affecting the mental health of one’s being. A long freezing cold winter can quickly
affect SAD by putting them in a depression state. Hot summers could make more people
violent. The weather can really affect one’s mood.

How can people cope with this depression? One could take antidepressants, at a doctor’s referral, if the symptoms are severe. It’s very important to treat this condition because all kinds of depressions don’t allow people to live their lives to the fullest, to enjoy their families, and to just function well in general.

Some ways that could help with trying to overcome this battle is just getting your mind ready. Try mood boosting activities that can help people to feel physically healthier. Dr. Burgess from one study from Everyday Health says this: “It’s better to set yourself up for the winter by starting in the fall season – doing enjoyable activities, initiating friend group chats and outings, choosing fun hobbies, and engaging in clubs or community service.” You should take part
in these activities ahead of time. But if things do seem like they are getting worse and never
better try contacting your doctor and consider taking antidepressants.

In conclusion SAD is a really big important role played on this earth. If it gets worse it
could be something more serious. It’s important to get help when you feel like you need it the
most, to understand what SAD is and why it happens, how you can properly treat it, and what
you should do if things do start to get worse.