Coping with seasonal depression disorder

Coping with seasonal depression disorder

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Seasonal depression can affect many people in the world. Some even find that it can be long term, or don't think they have a problem.

Studies from Mental Health America show that three out of four woman suffer from SAD, which is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. The disorder also affects roughly half a million people between the months of September and April.

This depression can also be known as the "winter blues," and affects most people between the ages of 18 and 30.

There are several causes that can lead to SAD:

  • According to Mayo Clinic, the reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter SAD. The decrease in sunlight can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to depressing feelings.
  • Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin, which may trigger depression.
  • Changes in season can disrupt melatonin levels in the body, which play a role in your sleeping patterns and mood.

Major symptoms of depression or long term depression can include:

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Low energy
  • Lost of interest in activities
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Feeling worthless

There is remedies people can follow to help fight depression whether it's minor or severe.

According to the sleep foundation, sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Get into bright light soon after waking in the morning
  • Get some form of exercise every day
  • Avoid afternoon naps if you have nighttime insomnia
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol
  • Ask loved ones for help – you should not face depression alone

According to, several jobs are more associated with depression due to inconsistent hours, unknown pay, pressure, and having to make several sacrifices. Those jobs include:

  • Wait staff
  • Social workers
  • Health care workers
  • Artists, entertainers, writers
  • Teachers
  • Administrative staff
  • Maintenance and ground workers
  • Financial advisors
  • Sales
  • Nursing home workers

If you are continuously feeling depressed, see a doctor, especially if there is changes in eating and sleeping habits, or feelings of hopelessness.

For more information on depression, visit the health line website here. 

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