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December is Seasonal Depression Month

December is Seasonal Depression Awareness Month, a time to learn about a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder and different ways to ease the of those impacted by this mental health condition. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is more than an experience of “winter blues.”

 

Most commonly associated with fall and winter, SAD affects approximately 5% of the US population in any given year according to the nonprofit organization Mental Health America—that’s over 16.4 million Americans. SAD is more common in adults, especially those with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder; it also sometimes runs in families.

 

SAD is not considered a separate disorder but is a type of depression characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern, with symptoms lasting about 4 to 5 months per year. The symptoms of SAD include many of those associated with major depression and some more specific symptoms. Not every person with SAD will experience every symptom, but here is a list of some of them:

  • Feeling depressed most of every day

  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Experiencing changes in appetite and/or weight

  • Having disrupted sleep patterns

  • Having low energy or feeling sluggish

  • Feeling irritated or agitated

  • Feeling hopeless or worthless

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicidal tendencies

  • Oversleeping

  • Overeating, which often results in weight gain

  • Social withdrawal from friends and/or family

 

If you think you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, consult with your medical provider or talk to a mental health specialist about your concerns. A physician or mental health provider might recommend that you monitor your carbohydrate/sugar intake, as well as your alcohol consumption, all of which should be limited and only enjoyed in moderation. He or she might also suggest that you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day because time spent outdoors offers extra sunlight exposure that can help combat SAD.

 

If you have any questions, contact us on our website at www.AdvanceATC.com or call us at 877-754-8057.

 

We look forward to serving you.

 

With Love & Peace,

 

Advance Therapeutic Concepts