For many people, winter brings joy with the holidays and winter outdoor antics. For other people, winter is dreary and bleak. This is a normal response to the less sunlight and colder temperatures that is often referred to as the winter blues, but in some people it is a serious condition known as seasonal affective disorder.
SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder Versus Clinical Depression
Unlike clinical depression where patients are depressed all the time, seasonal affective disorder is directly related to the changing seasons. SAD sufferers begin to feel their symptoms begin with the start of fall and ease as spring draws near. In a few cases, SAD has been noted as winter turns to spring and through the summer. More women suffer from seasonal affective than men. SAD is treatable with medications and therapy.If you always feel moody and depressed during fall and winter, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder and should seek professional care.
Those who suffer clinical depression are depressed daily. The heavy feelings of unending sadness do not dissipate with the changing of the seasons, although the depression may worsen with the bleakness of winter. Clinical depression, like SAD, is treatable with medications and therapy. Also, like SAD, more women suffer clinical depression. Clinical depression effects your life daily. It may be that you feel no joy in daily activities or feel a heavy sense of sadness and guilt daily. It is possible to get better. If you or someone you know suffers from clinical depression, you should seek professional help.
If you or someone you know suffers from any type of depression, get professional help. Depression is not like a cold where you take some over the counter medication and go to bed. People suffering from any type of depression need professional help in order to get better. So, how do you help?
If the patient is someone you know:
Be emotionally available: Many times just knowing that there is a person who will listen and not judge is a huge help.
Never ignore comments of suicide: There was a time when people believed that if suicide was spoken of then the individual would not commit the act. This is not always the case. Report comments of suicide to your friend or loved one’s doctor.
If the patient is yourself:
Do not wait: Seek professional help as quickly as possible.
Set realistic goals: Take life day by day. Set small easily attainable goals and work your way to more long term goals.
Remember it is a process: You will not feel better overnight. Do not stop treatment when you feel yourself mood begin to change.
Whether you suffer from SAD or clinical depression help is available to you.