We have all heard of the terms “winter blues” or “holiday blues”, but could there be something more at play? Millions of people actually suffer from a type of recurring depression previously known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD (DSM-IV) now referred to as Major Depressive Disorder “with seasonal pattern” (DSM-V). Research has found an association between the decreased amount of natural sunlight in the winter time and the chemicals effecting mood including Serotonin, Melatonin, and Vitamin D.
While most people experience some seasonal changes in mood during the winter (sometimes even the summer) people with a seasonal pattern of depression have changes in mood and behaviors so powerful that they create significant problems in functioning. Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal depression include irritability, loss of energy, heavy feeling in the arms or legs, oversleeping, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, and of course weight gain.
So it’s important to not simply ignore those yearly feelings as simply a case of the “winter blues”. Take steps to keep your mood and energy steady throughout the year by first recognizing the pattern. If you only suffer from seasonal depression, Ketamine infusion therapy may help you out of your fog quickly. If you suffer from depression year round consider Ketamine infusion therapy. It can offer quick relief without the unwanted side effects of traditional antidepressant medicines. And if you are a currently receiving Ketamine treatments and suffer from seasonal depression be sure to schedule your Ketamine treatments as a prevention and don’t wait to fall into a seasonal slump.
Learning to manage stressors and keeping a healthy lifestyle are the key to managing your mood symptoms. Other treatments that have found helpful in coping with seasonal depression include light therapy and psychotherapy. Keep in mind that it is seasonal and therefore temporary. More daylight is just around the corner!
Christi Gorman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Ketamine Wellness Centers, Inc