Do you feel depressed and anxious during Fall and Winter?
You could be suffering from a seasonal affective disorder, book a session with an Online Counselor today.
As the first day of Winter draws closer, you may find yourself feeling more down than usual, or perhaps you’re more anxious. Depression and anxiety are closely linked—so much so that seasonal anxiety disorders may be lumped in or considered the same as seasonal depression disorders, depending on who you ask.
What is seasonal anxiety and depression?
Seasonal anxiety is often a part of a seasonal depression disorder called seasonal affective disorder. This phenomenon is recognized as a legitimate diagnosis by medical professionals, something which often begins in Fall or Winter and is characterized by feeling down or more nervous or anxious than usual.
While rare, some individuals may also experience negative mood shifts each year during Spring and Summer.
According to research published by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, up to 10% of the population may struggle with this sad seasonal depression.
Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (ironically abbreviated as SAD) may include:
Sleeping too much or too little.
Gaining or losing weight.
Feeling down nearly every day.
No longer enjoying your favorite activities.
Constant exhaustion or weariness.
Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or even suicidal thoughts.
Also, it’s important to note that, while seasonal depression symptoms and signs of major depressive disorder are largely similar, these two are not the same! Major depressive disorder (which you may have heard called MDD, major depression, or just depression) occurs year-round.
Why does it happen?
The jury is still out when it comes to an exact cause of SAD, but we do know a few factors that make it more likely to experience some form of SAD during your lifetime.
For example, women are much more likely to experience SAD than men. Genetics may also play a factor, and people with preexisting mental health concerns such as depression or bipolar disorder have a higher chance of experiencing SAD. Finally, living further from the equator where days are shorter and the sunlight is scarcer can cause SAD to become more prevalent.
Conquering seasonal anxiety and depression.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from seasonal anxiety, depression, or mood shifts, fear not! Instead, take action to work with an Online Counselor who can help you to identify triggers for your seasonal anxiety and depression as well as show you how to conquer these mental struggles.
Online counseling sessions offer the flexibility you won’t find when scheduling office visits with other healthcare professionals, but these online sessions are still led by Experts who are well-equipped to help you live healthily through the winter months and into a happier Spring. Browse through our list of Online Counselors and book a session today!