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Showing posts from tagged with: Seasonal Depression

Got the Winter Blues? It Might be Seasonal Depression

Posted by UFMC Pueblo in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Woman overlooking a lake in the winterThe 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
It can lead to more depression beyond winter As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to problems if it's not treated. If you face social withdrawal, school or work problems, substance abuse or anxiety and eating disorders, these probably won’t go away once winter leaves. Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if SAD is diagnosed and treated before symptoms get bad. What to do about Seasonal Affective Disorder? It's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless or think about suicide.  

Depression Awareness Month

Posted by UFMC Pueblo in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Did you know October is Depression Awareness Month? mental-health-awareness-month-living-with-depression-01-758x606 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.
  Feeling a little down, depressed, or anxious. Talk to your doctor, we’re here to help.  

Feeling the winter blues? It could be Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted by UFMC Pueblo in Company News | 0 comments

SAD Short days, less sunlight, winter. Feeling a little down? Well you aren’t the only one. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs at the same time each year, usually in winter. Otherwise known as seasonal depression, SAD can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels, taking a toll on all aspects of your life from your relationships and social life to work, school, and your sense of self-worth. You may feel like a completely different person to and much different thank you feel in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. While a less common form of the disorder causes depression during the summer months, SAD usually begins in fall or winter when the days become shorter and remains until the brighter days of spring or early summer. Tip #1: Get as much natural sunlight as possible—it's free! Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun without wearing sunglasses (but never stare directly at the sun). Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside if you can stay warm enough. And increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows. Tip #2: Exercise regularly—it can be as effective as medication Regular exercise is a powerful way to fight seasonal depression, especially if you’re able to exercise outside in natural daylight. Regular exercise can boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals. In fact, exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise can also help to improve your sleep and boost your self-esteem. Tip #3: Reach out to family and friends—and let them help Close relationships are vital in reducing isolation and helping you manage SAD. Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it. It may feel more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will boost your mood. Even if you’ve retreated from relationships that were once important to you, make the effort to reconnect or start new relationships. Tip #4: Eat the right diet Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. Tip #5: Take steps to deal with stress—by making time for fun Whatever the time of year, too much stress can exacerbate or even trigger depression. Figure out the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload or unsupportive relationships, and make a plan to avoid them or minimize their impact. Practicing daily relaxation techniques can help you manage stress, reduce negative emotions such as anger and fear, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. And make sure to do something you enjoy every day. Having fun is a great stress buster, so make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be painting, playing the piano, working on your car, or simply hanging out with friends. If you’re feeling down due to the winter blues, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your mood.