Winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that is linked to the changing of the seasons. While this condition can occur during any season, it is most commonly associated with the winter months. Symptoms of winter depression may include feeling low energy and having difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, feeling hopeless or worthless, and thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, there are many ways to fight winter depression, including in-person therapy.
At Insight Into Action Therapy, we specialize in helping individuals cope with winter depression. With personalized treatment plans, we can help you identify and manage symptoms, work through underlying issues, and develop healthy coping strategies. We also offer support groups for people with SAD, which allows individuals to connect with others who share their experiences. Learn more and get started in our depression treatment program today by calling 703.935.8544.
What Is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months when daylight hours are shorter, and temperatures are colder. People with SAD may experience symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Withdrawal from social activities
The Effects of Winter Depression
Seasonal affective disorder can significantly impact an individual’s mental health, well-being, and relationships with others. For example, individuals with SAD may find it difficult to engage in social activities due to low energy levels or feelings of worthlessness; this can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness which can further exacerbate one’s symptoms. Furthermore, SAD can also cause an individual to feel unmotivated or have difficulty focusing on tasks at work or school, which can lead to a decline in job performance or academic achievement.
Managing Seasonal Depression at Home
Although there is no cure for SAD itself, there are things that individuals can do at home to help manage their symptoms. Some strategies include:
- Engaging in regular physical activity such as walking or yoga
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises
- Increasing exposure to natural light by going outside for walks throughout the day
- Eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables
- Getting plenty of sleep each night
- Talking with friends and family about how you are feeling
- Practicing mindfulness techniques such as meditation and journaling
How to Fight Winter Depression with In-Person Therapy
In addition to managing seasonal depression at home by following some strategies outlined above, another way individuals can fight winter depression is by seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional specializing in treating depression.
A qualified therapist will be able to provide personalized treatment plans tailored specifically toward one’s individual needs, which may include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions designed to target negative thought patterns that contribute to one’s symptoms
- Psychotherapy sessions focused on exploring underlying causes for one’s depressive episodes
- Medication management services provided by psychiatrists who specialize in prescribing medications that are safe for people battling SAD
- Group therapy sessions where individuals can connect with others facing similar struggles while receiving support from professionals trained in facilitating these types of conversations effectively
- Lifestyle coaching services aimed at helping individuals make changes necessary for long-term success when it comes to managing one’s mental health condition(s)
Depression Treatment for Winter Months at Insight Into Action Therapy
Our Ashburn, VA treatment center’s team of experienced mental health professionals is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatments to individuals struggling with winter depression or seasonal affective disorder.