It all started with my freshman year of high school. Now, I am not going to go and say I haven’t felt depressed before this, but this, however, was slightly different. From this point on, every October till the month of January I would feel incredibly depressed. My grades would go down significantly and my social life would crumble down.
Of course, with Spring coming and mother nature blossoming, my grades and social life would rise from the ashes. But every Winter, my mood would fall again and my life force would diminish. This continued for a few years. I had no idea what it was or if it was even real. I wasn’t in a depression all the year, so how can I be depressed just these few months?
Thinking it was just in my head I dealt with it the best I could- by simply ignoring all the symptoms and shutting off from the world. I continued to feel irritated by every single thing that wasn’t according to my plans, my plans which for the most part were non-existent because I would end up sleeping all day, finding it hard to even get up from the bed. I would also gain a lot of weight, this would, of course, put me in a bad mood all through summer because those kilograms won’t be melting down by themselves. It was a vicious circle that seemed to never end. The worst part was that I did not even know what it was.
However, three months ago I was laying in bed, surrounded by a plethora of Kit-Kats and Snickers ( you can already guess what season it was) when I stumbled upon a video that changed my life. I took a liking to psychology a couple years back. So it was no wonder my YouTube homepage was filled with videos concerning psychology. A title in the corner of my screen caught my eye. ”What is Seasonal Depression?” What is this? I have never heard of it before. I clicked on the video with a speed of lightning and listened carefully. After ten minutes my mind was blown away. You may think that it is foolish being blown away by such a thing. It is not even such a recent discovery, but for me it was. I could finally put a name, or well, a diagnose to how I was feeling.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that usually starts with the beginning of Autumn and ends with the beginning of Spring. If you have symptoms of depression only on these months, chances are you are suffering from Seasonal Depression. Now, after we established that this is the cause of our bad mood during these months, how to prevent it and deal with it? Firstly, let’s understand what is the cause of this state. It is not established what the main cause is. However, some suspect that this is related to the reduction of sunlight during these seasons. Sunlight can affect the production of melatonin ( the hormone that affects your sleepiness) and serotonin ( the hormone that affects your mood and sleep), so it actually makes sense that this could be the cause. Also, your body’s internal clock can influence your mood as well.
There are a few ways you can treat these. You can try and get as much sunlight as possible and regulate your diet. Make a plan beforehand about changing your diet, even if it’s just for a few more months. Then, you should do as much of outdoors activity as you can. Autumn and Winter can be cold and dreary, but there are still a few activities and sports that are fun and doable in these seasons. Try out skiing or hiking, or any other sport that might be of interest to you. Plan some projects that you enjoy doing for these months. Try and go out with your friends and family as many times as you can. Doing activities that you enjoy and being with people that you love are bound to lift your mood.
However, if this is not enough, contact a therapist and see if you need any form of medication. Asking for help should never be embarrassing, especially if it would help with the quality of your life.