Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder is depression triggered by the changing seasons. Seasonal depression usually begins in the fall when the days are shorter and darker, and people spend less time outdoors. Seasonal depression can worsen over the winter months and resolve in the spring. Research indicates that about five percent of American adults have seasonal depression. A milder version commonly referred to as the winter blues impacts a larger percentage of people. Like other forms of depression, seasonal depression affects daily functioning. A depression treatment program can provide the support you need.
If seasonal depression impairs your quality of life, reach out to Rose Hill Center at 866.367.0220. Through our programs for depression, you can learn the tools to overcome depression no matter what time of year it may impact you.
Recognizing the Signs of Seasonal Depression
While most people affected by seasonal depression experience a fall-onset, others can experience a spring-onset that carries through the summer months. The common thread of seasonal depression is that the symptoms tend to occur and resolve around the same time each year. While there is no distinct cause of seasonal depression, most experts agree that it is related to a combination of changes in sunlight and certain hormones and neurotransmitters that cause disruptions in the body’s circadian rhythm.
It is important to remember that seasonal depression is a form of depression that is different from everyday sadness or fatigue brought about by the highs and lows associated with daily life. Following are common signs of seasonal depression:
- Sleeping more than usual but still feeling fatigued
- A heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- Increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and despair
- Physical aches and pains, especially headaches and stomach issues
- Social withdrawal and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Irritability, anxiety, and difficulty with focus and thinking clearly
If you experience signs and symptoms of seasonal depression, do not self-diagnose. Talk to your health care provider to rule out any physical causes for your symptoms or a more significant underlying mental health disorder. It would be best if you did not avoid treatment because signs of seasonal depression may only last for part of the year. Those few months can be enough time to cause significant consequences for relationships, employment, school, and your overall well-being.
Should You Seek Depression Treatment in Michigan?
No matter the time of year, if you think you have depression, you should seek help. While you cannot stop the seasons from changing, there are things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, following a sleep schedule, and avoiding drugs and alcohol are highly beneficial to overall well-being. Spending at least 20-30 minutes outside, especially on sunny days, will boost your vitamin D levels. Having a solid support network is one of the best defenses against seasonal depression, so stay involved with friends and family as much as you may not feel like it. Additionally, light therapy boxes or lamps are available almost everywhere, but you should consult your doctor before using one.
Sometimes, managing seasonal depression on your own does not work. There are significant benefits to seeking professional help for your depression. If your symptoms worsen or you begin to have suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. At the Rose Hill Center’s depression treatment center in Michigan, we provide a safe and supportive environment where you can heal and grow. Our program options include programs such as:
- Residential rehabilitation
- Co-occurring rehabilitation
- Transitional living services
- Extended residential services
- Community support services
The types of therapies you receive will depend upon your unique needs and circumstances. Our compassionate and experienced team will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help you overcome depression and have a new beginning.
Discover Depression Treatment in Michigan at Rose Hill Center
Not everyone who experiences seasonal depression will need professional treatment beyond medication and periodic counseling. However, for some, a depression treatment center in Michigan offers the extra support needed to overcome their challenges. If you have questions about getting help for seasonal depression, reach out to Rose Hill Center at 866.367.0220.