It's that time of the year again. The season is changing. It is getting colder outside, darker much earlier, and the leaves are changing. This is about the time when Seasonal Affective Disorder starts showing its ugly head.
1. What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that only begins and ends at a specific season. In most cases, SAD occurs during fall and winter months. Some symptoms include: feeling depressed during most of the day, having low energy, feeling agitated, difficulty concentrating, thoughts of death or suicide.
2. What to do If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of SAD, you should be evaluated. Professionals can assess for these signs and advice on treatment plans that will work best for you. Some individuals take a more holistic approach by using light boxes or essential oils. Others may find that taking a prescription medication assists through the winter months. However, before choosing an approach, it is important to consult a professional.
3. How does therapy help SAD Regardless of what approach you choose to take, you should consider adding therapy to your regiment. It is recommended that you begin with a therapist on a weekly basis to understand the disorder and learn new coping techniques. As you progress through therapy, your sessions may adjust to biweekly or monthly. Some of these coping techniques include healthy and unhealthy behaviors, boundaries, relationships, and cognitive distortions.
These wintery months affect more people than you might think. You don't have to live in a depressed state during these months. Developing a preventative plan before SAD starts is the best approach to having a healthy lifestyle, even through the freezing winter.
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