The weather has been cold for three or four months now, and depending on whether the “groundhog” sees his shadow, there’s still some winter left to weather. If that fills you with dread - and you’ve been filled with dread for a couple months now - you might just be “SAD,” which in this case stands for “Seasonal Affective Disorder.” It helps provide a name and a reason to what you may be calling “the winter blues.” What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. What are the signs? Your “winter blues” could manifest in many different ways. You may be oversleeping or really craving those high-carbs sweets more than normal. You may also describe it as being “blah” but consider whether you feel any of these possible symptoms:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
Did you know October is Depression Awareness Month? Mental health is a key component to your health. Common behavioral and mental health disorders, even suicide are extremely important to talk about with your doctor. Even if you feel that you’ve just been feeling a little “off” your doctor can help. Depression is far too common and can easily be treated. We are here to help and are helping to promote Depression Awareness Month. Depression Awareness Month is held annually in October, it is an education and screening event conducted by hospitals, clinics, colleges, and community groups nationwide. Much like the medical community screens for diabetes and high blood pressure, this awareness month offers large-scale mood disorder screenings and awareness. Screenings include depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and we provide treatment resources for you and your family. Did You Know?
- Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
- Depression and anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
- People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Depression and anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.