It’s coming up to the time of year where the weather starts to get rainy and windy, the days are getting darker and shorter and the atmosphere is less happy than it was in the summer. Seasonal depression is very common and it definitely isn’t something to be ashamed of, around 6% of people suffer from seasonal depression from mild cases to extreme. Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal depression are feeling depresses, having a lack of energy, losing interest in things you previously enjoyed and a change in your sleeping and eating patterns. If this sounds like something you suffer from then keep reading to find some great methods to help combat it this year.
Should I talk to a doctor?
As seasonal depression is a seasonal thing, many people don’t think that they need professional help as they don’t see it as real depression, but it very much is so. By speaking to your doctor you’ll be able to get a diagnosis, this is usually done by answering some general questions about you, your thoughts and your lifestyle. Once you have a diagnosis your doctor will be aware of your condition and be able to offer you support.
Should I prepare in advance?
Preparing in advance is a great idea, if you know that you’re likely to suffer from seasonal depression, one of the best ways to combat it is by being aware of it and starting to take action in the autumn. If you continue to take part in activities that you enjoy during the autumn then you’ll be setting yourself up nicely to carry this over into the winter months too. It is much easier to try and carry-on doing activities you enjoy than starting over once seasonal depression sinks in.
Is exercise as effective as people claim?
Yes! Exercise is one of the highest rated methods for combatting seasonal depression. When you exercise your body releases a lot of endorphins, these make you feel good. If you’ve ever heard of runners high, this is a real thing that it caused by your body releasing hormones. On top of this, it gives you goals, whether you climb and want to break a grade barrier or if you run or cycle and want to improve your time or distance, having something to work towards will keep you motivated and feeling happier.
Is it ok to take anti-depressants?
Luckily, we are now living in a time where most of the stigma associated with mental health no longer exists. So many people suffer from various mental health conditions that it is more common than ever for people to take anti-depressants. There is nothing shameful about taking anti-depressants, it is no different to taking anti-biotics to fix a physical health problem. A psychologist will be able to speak to you and prescribe you the right medicine with the right dosage. Or you can try over the counter anti-depressants such as St Johns Wort of 5-htp.
What is CBD and does it help?
CBD is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, but tch is the ingredient that causes psychoactive affects. CBD is known to reduce levels of anxiety and depression and it has become a very popular at home treatment for dealing with mental health issues. It comes in several forms from CBD vapes, to oil to gummies. If this is something that interests you we would recommend the gummies as it is easier to control your dose and there will definitely be a great place to buy CBD gummies online.
Is light therapy effective?
Light therapy is a newer form of therapy being tested to try and combat seasonal depression, so far studies have shown that it has been really effective in some people but made little to no difference in others. If you’re wanting to try it the best thing to do is buy a dawn simulator, they’re alarm clocks that gradually produce light to mimic the rising of the sun in the morning. More research is needed on these but this type of therapy has worked best for those with only mild symptoms of seasonal depression.
Is aromatherapy effective?
If light therapy hasn’t worked for you then another at home therapy to try is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils as they have therapeutic purposes which some studies have shown lessen symptoms of seasonal depression. This is because the oils are said to influence the areas of your brain that control things like your mood, sleep and appetite, all common symptoms of seasonal depression. Again, this is another therapy that works really well for some people and not at all for others so it will be a case of trial and error to see what helps you most.
Should I stop drinking?
Many people increase how much alcohol they consume during winter due to this increased feeling of sadness and anxiety. However, this is one of the worst things that you can do if you’re suffering from seasonal depression. Alcohol as a substance is a depressant, so although it may make you feel better whilst your drunk, when you wake up the next morning it will leave you feeling much worse. Try to stick to the recommended daily limit of how much alcohol you should consume to prevent slipping deeper into seasonal depression.