Fall can be such a beautiful time of the year, with leaves turning from green to a brilliant array of colors. For many people, though, this is the season when they feel depressed and irritable. Are you one of them? Are you impacted by the shorter, cloudier days? If so, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Many of my clients seem to struggle with a deepening depression this time of year. This depression can be of two main types. One type of depression can be brought on by the approaching holidays, and the natural yearning to have what the media presents as the picture-perfect occasion. These times are “supposed” to be filled with friends and families laughing, hugging and celebrating in beautifully decorated homes, with wonderful food being set out for all to enjoy! If you’re alone and struggling, this isn’t your reality. It can be a really heavy let down! This often leads to a situational depression. Don’t just suffer. Find a good therapist in your area and get some support and guidance.
There’s another type of depression, though, that isn’t centered around specific disappointments. This type of depression results from a sensitivity to the changing light conditions. Many people need a certain period of daylight in order to feel their optimal best. When the amount of daylight diminishes to a certain level, these people experience increased sadness and irritability. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A,D.. If you look back over the last few years and see a pattern of depressed moods, a need for extra sleep, and changing patterns of eating around this time of year, then it’s possible that you may be dealing with S.A.D. It’s best diagnosed by a professional. The good news is that there are ways to help you feel better.
There’s no reason to just settle for not feeling up to par for long periods of time every year. If you’ve had a recent physical, you know that you’re healthy, and there is nothing going on in your life that should be causing this change, please go to a therapist and get some help so that you are more able to enjoy this beautiful season.
Empower yourself to make your tomorrow better! Don’t let the darker days of fall cause you to be depressed. Get some information, and get some help!
Until next time,
* Photo by Paul Menesez
It’s amazing how powerful the sunlight can be! I have a family member who struggles with irritability and loss of energy this time of year. He found it helpful to use a light therapy box for a few minutes every day during the fall and winter months. Thanks, Linda, for posting this valuable information!
Thank you, Renee. I have people in my family, too, who struggle with S.A.D. I’ve also had clients who are impacted by this. Light therapy can be very helpful, so can talk therapy, and occasionally medication. The important thing to remember is that there are options. I’m glad your family member had good results with the light therapy.