Seasonal Depression

Cold rainy weather and shorter days that occur during the holiday season, as well as cloudy rainy weather saw during Spring and Autumn in and around Bentonville, Arkansas, can cause individuals to feel sad. The question is, are you sad because of the weather or something different?

The American Psychiatric Association released new information recently that Seasonal Affective Disorder could be linked to mood disorders that often become worse during specific seasons.

Samuel Collier, Seton Psychiatrist explained that in many clinical practice guides, that Seasonal Affective Disorder is not listed due to the fact that problems with mood during specific seasons show an underlying mood disorder. Such mood disorders that also have a seasonal pattern include bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.

Mood disorder is a broad term that includes all types of bipolar disorders and depression.

Most individuals that suffer from mood disorders see the pattern beginning in the fall or winter, but when spring arrives the sadness or depression also leaves. It is very rare for a person with mood patterns to be symptoms of depression in the summer. If you notice that you become depressed or sad during the fall and winter season, you may have a mood disorder.

In most cases, as explained by Collier, individuals normally have multiple symptoms that last no less than two weeks. It can be very difficult to see the difference between the symptoms that happen at other times throughout the year and those that have connections to the seasons. The symptoms associated with depression often are in the form of a cluster and will last at least two weeks and will cause the person to be less functional.

The symptoms to watch for include being constantly sad, changes in your eating or sleeping habits, feeling fatigued, having problems concentrating, and no longer having the ability to enjoy activities you enjoyed previously. In serious cases, some individuals contemplate suicide.

One in every fifteen adults, as stated by the American Psychiatric Association, is affected by depression which affects the way these individuals act and think.

Some people often feel sad throughout the holiday season and this is common. However, for those that still feel sad after the holidays may have a mood disorder.

In order to diagnose depression or another mood disorder, clinicians need to ensure that the person is not just sad due to unfortunate situations but has a more serious disorder that needs evaluated and then given proper treatment.

If you believe you are depressed even after the holidays, you should contact a counselor to help you determine if you have a mood disorder. A therapist with experience in depression and mood disorders can help you learn what is happening and how you should proceed with treatment. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in receiving the help you need so you enjoy the holidays with family and friends instead of being depressed.