How to deal with seasonal depression

14 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression

Depression that arrives or worsens during the winter months may be a sign of seasonal affective disorder.

By Beth W. Orenstein and Michelle PugleMedically Reviewed by Allison Young, MD


Medically Reviewed

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If shorter days and shifts in weather zap your energy and make you feel blue, you’ve got classic symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a form of depression triggered by changes in daylight and weather that occur primarily in winter.

Why do some people get SAD? Experts aren’t certain, but some think that those seasonal changes disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours, which cause us to feel energized and alert sometimes and drowsy at other times.

Another theory is that the changing seasons disrupt hormones, such as serotonin and melatonin, which regulate sleep, mood, and feelings of well-being.

Whatever the causes of one’s SAD may be, the signs and symptoms typically can include:

  • Feelings of depression that happen most of the day, every day, in a seasonal pattern
  • Having tiredness or low energy
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Changes in appetite or weight gain
  • Sleeping too much

RELATED: 10 Ways to Chase Away Warm-Weather Seasonal Depression

How Common Is SAD?

About 4 to 6 percent of people in the United States have SAD, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. And as many as 20 percent may have a mild form of it — often called the “winter blues” — that starts when days get shorter and colder, the organization adds.

Women and young people are more likely to experience SAD, as are those who live farther away from the equator. People with a family history or diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder may be particularly susceptible.

"It is important to treat SAD, because all forms of depression limit people's ability to live their lives to the fullest, to enjoy their families, and to function well at work," says Deborah Pierce, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor of family medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York.

To help manage SAD, here are a few options you might want to consider.


Talk With Your Doctor


Because SAD is a form of depression, it needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional. "There are a number of screening questions that can help determine if someone is depressed," Dr. Pierce says. "Your doctor will be able to sort out whether you have SAD as opposed to some other form of depression."

If you have SAD, seeing a professional can help you work through it. About 12 years ago, Arlene Malinowski, PhD, 58, recognized she had SAD when she read about the symptoms in a magazine article.

“I would notice a drop in how I felt and perceived the world in the winter,” the Chicago resident recalls. The psychiatrist she had been seeing for depression confirmed it.

RELATED: Talkspace vs. BetterHelp: Which Online Therapy Is Better?


Ready Your Mind in the Fall


As you prepare our homes for the fall-to-winter transition, you may want to consider preparing your mind, too.

Regularly allotting time for mood-boosting activities can help people feel physically and psychologically healthier, says psychologist Kim Burgess, PhD, founder of the Pediatric Psychology Center in Rockville, Maryland, and an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.

“It’s better to set yourself up for the winter season by starting in the fall season — doing enjoyable activities, initiating friend group chats and outings, choosing fun hobbies, and engaging in clubs or community service,” says Dr. Burgess.

Regularly taking part in these activities ahead of time is much easier than trying to start from scratch once the winter blues have already set in, she adds.


Try Light From a Box

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Bright light therapy — exposure to artificial light to help keep one’s circadian rhythm on track — is widely considered a first-line treatment option for SAD, according to a review published in 2017 in the Einstein Journal of Biology and Medicine. One way to try bright light therapy is by using a light therapy box.

Also known as phototherapy boxes, these devices give off light that mimics sunshine and can help in the management of SAD, according to the Mayo Clinic. The light from the therapy boxes is significantly brighter than that of regular light bulbs, and is provided in different wavelengths.

Typically, you’ll sit in front of the light box for about 20 to 30 minutes a day. This will result in a chemical change in your brain that boosts your mood and alleviates symptoms of SAD, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Experts usually recommend using the light box within the first hour after you wake up in the morning, the Mayo Clinic adds.

Although often safe and effective, light therapy boxes are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Be sure to talk with your doctor about whether a light therapy box is right for you.


Use Dawn Simulators

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Dawn simulators can help some people with SAD. These devices are alarm clocks, but rather than waking you abruptly with beeping or loud music, they produce light that gradually increases in intensity, just like the sun.

Different models of dawn simulators are available, but the best ones use full-spectrum light, which is closest to natural sunlight. Researchers found that dawn simulators were as effective as light therapy for people with mild SAD, according to a study published in July 2015 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.


Consider Taking Antidepressants


If light therapy or psychotherapy don’t completely relieve your symptoms, prescription antidepressants may help you overcome seasonal depression, as long as you avoid medications that might make you sleepy, reports the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

When taking antidepressants for SAD, you’ll typically need to use the medication from autumn until spring, the organization says.

It's important to recognize when the symptoms of SAD start, and to see your doctor for a prescription before they escalate, says Ani Kalayjian, EdD, an adjunct professor of psychology at Columbia University in New York City.

RELATED: 12 Signs Your Antidepressant Isn’t Working


Prioritize Social Activities

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Dr. Malinowski tries to get the jump on treating SAD by filling her winter months with enjoyable activities. “Proactive is the way to go,” says Malinowski, who participates in a writing group and book club.

Why are social activities important if you have SAD? Studies have found a causal relationship between social isolation and depression, says Burgess. And lately, isolation has been in no short supply as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One recent review article addressed the mental health impact of quarantining during the ongoing pandemic. The review, published in March 2020 in The Lancet, indicated that these periods of isolation can have a long-term psychological impact on people, including symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Finding creative ways to stay connected with others during times of increased isolation is important, says Burgess. She suggests hanging out with relatives and friends at a local park, playing outdoor sports or yard games, or going on walks when the weather allows.

If wintertime darkness, weather, and COVID-19 have you staying indoors more than desired, there are ways other than in-person interactions to socialize.

“When the winter weather makes it super cold to be outside or unsafe to drive, we can FaceTime with friends and extended family members or set up Zoom calls with them,” Burgess says.

RELATED: An Introvert’s Guide to Socializing Again in a Partially Vaccinated World


Add Aromatherapy to Your Treatment Plan

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Aromatherapy — the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes — may also help those with SAD.

A review published in June 2020 in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine indicates that essential oils could potentially help lessen symptoms of depression and other psychological issues like anxiety and sleep problems.

That said, the authors of the review note that evidence of the mental health benefits of essential oils thus far are small and somewhat limited in usefulness.

When it comes to SAD in particular, essential oils could potentially influence the area of the brain that's responsible for controlling moods and the body's internal clock that influences sleep and appetite, Dr. Kalayjian says.

And although the evidence for aromatherapy may be limited, using essential oils could be a simple and safe way to improve mental well-being — particularly when paired with another soothing activity, like a taking a bath or enjoying company by candlelight.

The safest ways to use aromatherapy include body oils, aroma sticks, and jewelry made with absorbent materials to which you can apply essential oils, Johns Hopkins Medicine reports. The organization advises against ingesting essential oils or using essential oil diffusers.


Stick to a Schedule

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People who live with SAD often have trouble sleeping at night and getting up in the morning. Maintaining a regular schedule improves sleep, which can help alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression.

"Keeping a regular schedule will also expose you to light at consistent and predictable times," Pierce says. And eating at regular intervals can help you avoid overeating. Many people who live with SAD find they gain weight in the winter, according to the Mayo Clinic.

RELATED: How to Start a Self-Care Routine You’ll Follow


Get Moving

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As it does with other forms of depression, exercise can help alleviate SAD. Exercise can also help offset the weight gain that is common with SAD, Kalayjian says. Malinowski says she's more vigilant about sticking with her exercise and yoga routine in the dead of winter.

Outdoor exercise is most helpful for relieving SAD symptoms. But if you can't exercise outside because it's cold or snowy, try using a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine set close to a window at home or at the gym.

Not comfortable going back to the gym yet because of COVID-19? You can still break a sweat at home by following instructional workout videos online from organizations like the American Council on Exercise and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

RELATED: 7 Tips for Getting Back Into a Workout Routine if the Pandemic Disrupted Yours


Let the Sunshine In

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If you have seasonal depression or wintertime SAD, you'll want to get outside as much as you can during the day to take advantage of what sunlight there is. On cold days, bundle up and take a stroll around the block at noon or soon after — that's when the sun is brightest.

Also, when you're indoors, keep your blinds open to let in as much natural light as you can. And if you’re working remotely, choose a workspace near a source of natural light if possible. Indoor lighting is much dimmer than natural light, and this can negatively affect SAD symptoms, reports Yale Medicine.


Take a Vacation or ‘Staycation’

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Taking a winter vacation to warmer climates can help alleviate symptoms of SAD by helping you escape cold and overcast skies, Kalayjian says. Even a short break from your daily routine in a sunny place can be helpful with winter depression.

“The excitement that can lift your mood can start as you prepare for your vacation and linger for a few weeks after you return,” Kalayjian adds. Malinowski plans visits to warm-weather friends in winter for just that reason.

If your travel plans have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, consider planning a “staycation” instead — taking time off from work and finding ways to experience typical vacation activities within your own home and community.

RELATED: How to Make Staycation Feel Like Vacation During a Pandemic


Consider Avoiding Alcohol

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People may drink more for many different reasons during times of stress or sadness, Burgess says. “When someone is feeling ‘down’ they are more likely to drink alcohol, but drinking causes further depression, hence the downward spiral,” she explains.

Also, if you notice that you’re drinking on more days of the week than before, or drinking a larger amount of alcohol than you used to, these changes could eventually lead to an addiction, she says.

Burgess says it’s important to determine what’s behind the behavior. She suggests asking yourself, “Why do I think I’m drinking more?” If you think you may have a drinking problem, talking your doctor can also help, Burgess adds.

RELATED: 6 Alcohol-Free Ways to Unwind at the End of a Long Day


Keep a Journal

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Writing down your thoughts can have a positive effect on your mood. "It can help you get some of your negative feelings out of your system,” Kalayjian explains.

How can journaling help you cope with depression? According to the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, it works by helping you prioritize life’s problems and identify your depression triggers, as well as what helps lift your mood.

Include your thoughts, feelings, and concerns when you journal. A good time to do so is at night so that you can reflect on all that happened in the last 24 hours.

RELATED: How Maintaining a Gratitude Journal for 1 Month Made Me Happier


Get Enough Vitamin D

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Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for depressive symptoms. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that low levels of vitamin D — caused by low dietary intake of this vitamin or not enough sunlight exposure — are common in people with SAD.

Experts don’t know for sure whether taking vitamin D supplements can relieve symptoms of SAD, the NCCIH reports. But ensuring you get enough sunlight during the day and incorporating vitamin D-rich foods into your diet may help.

Talk to your doctor about testing your vitamin D levels and whether supplements would be right for you, Kalayjian suggests. Malinowski upped her vitamin D during the winter at her psychiatrist’s suggestion and has found that it helps.

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
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    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

5 tips to overcome seasonal depression

March 14, 2013 Health Motivation

We bring to your attention a few recommendations that will help you overcome the off-season blues and meet the new season with a smile.

What is seasonal depression?

Seasonal depression is a condition that appears after a long period of affective disorder.

The clinical presentation of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) was first described in 1984 by psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal from the National Institute of Mental Health (USA). This is a form of depression that manifests itself in mentally healthy people during the change of seasons.

Seasonal affective disorder manifests itself with the onset of cold weather. It is also associated with a sharp change in weather and climate conditions: the air temperature drops, daylight hours are reduced. At the same time, depression has a long-term character: it begins in October and ends in April. It is at the beginning and end of this period that the spleen manifests itself most clearly. nine0003

According to statistics, about 17% of the world's population living far from the equator are affected by SAD. Symptoms: increased fatigue, tearfulness, irritability, impaired attention, insomnia, excessive appetite, decreased libido. Everything literally falls out of hand.

To get rid of the manifestations of seasonal depression, it is not necessary to consult a psychiatrist. It is enough to understand the reasons for your bad mood and start fighting it.

1. Feel free to feel

There are many false stereotypes about depression and low mood. Sadness is bad. All melancholics are losers. Demonstrating a bad mood is a bad form. People should smile even while lathering the rope with soap.

This is not true. Anger, sadness, fear are the same emotions as joy and fun. Just a reaction of the body to external stimuli. And life, alas, does not consist of holidays alone.

Don't be ashamed of your feelings, even negative ones. Depression is normal. It only becomes a threat when you fixate on problems. Admit to yourself that now is really not the best period. But do not let yourself drown in a swamp of dissatisfaction with yourself and your life. nine0003

2. Speak

Get rid of the delusion that no one cares about other people's problems. If you live with this attitude, mild seasonal blues will quickly develop into a major depressive disorder.

Look around. Is there no one who can understand you? Unlikely. Yes, loved ones are often busy, and it seems that they are not at all up to you. But that's why they are close to listen and hear. The main thing is to start talking. Having formulated and voiced the problem, you will see ways to solve it. In addition, psychologists have long proven that complexes and fears are easier to overcome by knowing their names. nine0003

But if pride still does not allow you to talk about your sorrows aloud, write. Get everything that worries you down on paper. You can keep this message for yourself, but it is better to let your spouse, parents or close friends read it. You will not only throw off a stone from the soul, but also receive practical life advice.

3. Get enough sleep and eat right

These are the first pieces of advice in any self-development book. Indeed, healthy sleep and nutrition are the basis of a harmonious life.

Kelly McGonigal, renowned psychologist and author of Willpower, believes that insomnia impairs our ability to control ourselves. Due to lack of sleep, the body is in a state of stress. To feel good, you need to sleep 7-8 hours a day. nine0003

With seasonal affective disorder, the level of carbohydrates drops sharply, you want to eat all the time. Do not satisfy your appetite with fatty foods. You need to fill the lack of carbohydrates with foods that are rich in them: fresh bread, cereals, legumes and cereal cereals.

Diversify your diet by including more fruits and vegetables. For example, eat oranges every morning. These citrus fruits are rich in vitamins C and A, which reduce the level of cortisol in the blood.

Finally, don't look for solace in alcohol and nicotine. Instead, drink tea, a natural source of antioxidants. nine0003

4. Keep busy

Depression is the inability to create the future.

Rollo May

American psychologist and psychotherapist

Open your calendar or task manager. Does it contain plans for the next month? If not, make them up! Your days should be filled with a variety of tasks. And not just workers.

Put all the things on the back burner on your calendar: sort out the trash on the balcony, sign up for the pool, do repairs, learn Finnish, get a puppy. Do whatever you want, but don't allow yourself a single moment of idleness. nine0003

5. Try something new

Often the cause of the off-season depression is an ordinary routine. There are not enough holidays, vivid impressions.

This is easy to fix. Allow yourself a little variety, try something new every day. Change your life step by step. Put on a colored shirt instead of a black one. Order for lunch not chicken, but seafood. Get home not by bus, but on foot. Don't text, call.

You can also resort to more drastic measures: change your hairstyle, change your job, skydive, move - the main thing is to approach this responsibly. If you succeed, you will not only believe in yourself, but also forget about depression. nine0003

Nature has no bad weather. How to deal with seasonal depression.

Seasonal depressions - a variant of recurring (recurrent) depressions. Seasonal include depressions that develop in the autumn-winter-spring season with a certain regularity - annually for at least 3 years.

Seasonal depressions can be manifested by the same symptoms as depressions that are not associated with a specific season: low mood with a feeling of melancholy or anxiety, decreased interest in the environment, apathy, a feeling of joylessness, hopelessness. Often these symptoms are more pronounced in the first half of the day, while in the evening the condition improves. nine0003

Other symptoms are considered more specific for seasonal depression. Patients suffering from seasonal depression, along with low mood, anxiety and decreased activity, experience sleepiness during the day and increased appetite. During depression, they consume more carbohydrate-rich foods and gain weight. As a rule, the general tone decreases, weakness appears, various unpleasant sensations in the body.

Asthenic symptoms of seasonal depression are as follows: a feeling of weakness, lethargy, fatigue, general physical malaise. There are various pains and unpleasant sensations in the body, mental performance decreases, memory and attention deteriorate. It is characteristic that the severity of these symptoms practically does not depend on the external load and often they are more pronounced in the morning hours after waking up. nine0003

In the development of seasonal depression, the main role is played by disturbances in the metabolism of serotonin, a biologically active substance that regulates mood. Experimental studies have shown that in winter the content of serotonin in the brain is lower than in summer. An important regulator of serotonin metabolism is melatonin, an active substance whose production depends on the amount of light.

The classic treatment for seasonal depression is light therapy. In addition, the high efficiency of antidepressants with a specific effect on the metabolism of serotonin in the brain has been proven. Long-term use of these drugs allows not only to cure an already developed depressive state, but also to prevent their development in the future. As with other depressions, psychotherapy is an important element of effective treatment. nine0003

Depression through the eyes of a psychologist

    The days are getting shorter, there is less sun and sometimes we feel sad. And let's try to answer how sad we are. Try to include the following statements:
  • I feel oppressed, depressed.
  • Recently my appetite and weight have changed.
  • I feel uneasy and can't find my place.
  • I cry a lot.
  • I feel tired for no apparent reason.
  • nine0083 I don't enjoy my favorite activities.
  • My thoughts are not as clear as before.
  • My future seems bleak to me.
  • I don't feel that my life is useful to people.
  • I think it would be better for others if I died/died.

And if more than 5 statements match you, then you may be depressed. Depression can manifest itself in many different ways. Possible forms range from low initiative and a little depression, fatigue, sleep disturbances to depression, headaches, appetite disorders, constipation, loss of balance in life and, finally, to complete apathy. The specific manifestations of depression are so diverse and individual that it is difficult to make an appropriate diagnosis and often the disease is not recognized in time. Medicine distinguishes three types of depression:

  1. Organic depressions due to diseases such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, hormonal disorders, trauma.
  2. Endogenous depressions. This form of depression comes from within, as a result of a person's mental predisposition. "Endogenous" - determined by deep, internal processes (including biochemical ones). Such depression brings special suffering, since the patient is not able to feel not only joy, love, interest, but also grief, anger, compassion. Accordingly, it is especially important to recognize such depression in time, since it is well stopped by modern antidepressants. nine0084
  3. Psychogenic depression. It arises from subjectively intolerable experiences in connection with psychotraumatic situations, and emotions are so strong that they must be suppressed (depression - suppression). Moreover, for different people, people with different types of personality, events that are completely different in strength, content, and duration can serve as such a psychotrauma.

Common to all depressions is a change in self-attitude, a change in the perception of one's past and future, as well as the world around, when everything begins to be seen in pessimistic tones. nine0003

Especially prone to depression are the elderly, suffering from loneliness after the death of a spouse, the loss of peers who previously surrounded the person, changes in habits, restrictions imposed by frequent illnesses.

Depression deprives a person of connection with the future, orientation to the future. Psychotrauma deprives people of hope and strength to see tomorrow, when prospects promise only trouble, expected suffering, failure, pain, despair, collapse of undertakings. Trauma is different for everyone - divorces, separations, difficulties at work, financial difficulties, the suffering of a stray dog. You better know how this happens to you. In cases of depression caused by traumatic events, the effectiveness of drugs is minimal. Here, psychotherapy is especially shown, aimed at the awareness of unsuccessful strategies, the search for resources, internal and external, the awareness of the true problems and causes of depression, which are the suppression of important human needs. Depression shows that there is something that oppresses a person and requires that he eliminate it. nine0003

A person under the yoke of depression is not satisfied with himself, does not trust himself, does not want to see reality, he loses his own depth.

Depression can often be associated with illnesses traditionally referred to as psychosomatic.

The important thing is that "mild" depressions are completely normal if they occur after periods of great tension, as they allow the body to rest. But if they are delayed, this is evidence of trouble. It makes no sense to persuade the patient to relax in a cheerful society, to go to distant lands, to assert that everything is not so bad and will soon pass, it is pointless to tell what happened to you, to demand from the patient that he pull himself together and not fall , ignore the possibility of suicide and signs of preparation for it. It makes sense to show the patient that they love him, that they are attentive to him, that they want to help. Be ready for mood swings, gently help him return to himself, become himself, help the sufferer explore his life history, and together with him find the true causes of mental disorder. It is optimal when such assistance is provided by a qualified psychotherapist. nine0003

It is paradoxical that in some cases, in order to recover, one does not have to fight against depression, but, on the contrary, fall into it, only in the depths of one's being is it possible to oppose oneself to what has been oppressing for so long. "Fall to the bottom of the well." In the East, depression is sometimes considered a gift from the Gods, as it gives you the opportunity and even compels you to think about the meaning of life, look for answers to the question “Who am I”, “Why” and be renewed and rediscovered by the joys and sorrows of this world. And if you go through depression with a guide, plunge into it, such a journey will make it possible to fill these difficult experiences with meaning, life will again sparkle with colors that may have long been forgotten. nine0003

What is depression?

Depression is a mental illness characterized by a mood disorder

What are the main symptoms of depression?

    The main symptoms of depression are:
  • Joyless, depressed state, loss of feeling of pleasure.
  • Lack of interest.
  • Inability to concentrate, impaired memory.
  • Inability to make a decision, obsessive return to the same questions. nine0084
  • Fear (before everyday life or indefinite), inner restlessness, anxiety.
  • Feeling tired, lack of energy.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss.
  • Lack of sexual interests.
  • Feeling of pressure, heaviness in the abdomen and chest.
  • Vegetative symptoms (dry mouth, constipation, sweating, etc.).

What to do if someone close to you suffers from depression? nine0003

  • Complaints of a depressed patient should not be ignored or prohibited.
  • Avoid flat and comforting statements or trivial encouragements.
  • Do not attempt to cheer up the patient
  • Emphasize the momentary state of depression, inspiring hope for the end of depression.
  • Do not call for manifestations of the will of the patient, do not say to him: "you must pull yourself together", you could if you wanted to, etc. nine0084
  • Do not allow the patient to feel helpless and guilty.
  • Do not call for such virtues as faith or a sense of responsibility.
  • Release the depressed patient from having to make decisions, especially very important ones.
  • Behave with the patient calmly, evenly and confidently.
  • Organize your own visits to the doctor and accompany the patient
  • Unload the patient in relation to his personal and business contacts. nine0084
  • Do not change the cardinal habits of the patient.
  • Do not insist on the patient's leave, especially if there are no signs of severe depression.
  • Show your sympathy and understanding, support the patient in the performance of his own urgent and real tasks.
  • Draw the patient's attention to everything that he manages to do, do not allow yourself to triumphant intonations
  • Follow the regular observance of the patient's regimen, the rhythmic distribution of tasks in the daily routine
  • Do not allow the patient to lie in bed in the morning, go to bed early and be left alone.
  • See to it that the patient takes care of himself.
  • Avoid feigned gaiety.
  • Do not make reproaches and remarks.
  • Try to stimulate the patient's breathing.
  • Do not mention the patient's past successes.
  • Do not self-medicate the patient, seek help from a specialist psychiatrist. nine0084

How to treat depression?

  • Use of biological methods of therapy (primarily psychopharmacological drugs). A necessary condition for the effectiveness of treatment is cooperation with the doctor: strict adherence to the prescribed therapy regimen, regular visits to the doctor, a detailed, frank account of one's condition and life's difficulties.
  • Psychotherapy (individual, group and family) is not an alternative but an important adjunct to the medical treatment of depression. Unlike drug treatment, psychotherapy involves a more active role of the patient in the treatment process. Psychotherapy helps patients develop the skills of emotional self-regulation and in the future more effectively cope with crisis situations without sinking into depression. nine0084

What usually prevents you from seeking psychotherapeutic help?

  • Low awareness of people about what psychotherapy is.
  • Fear of initiating a stranger into personal, intimate experiences.
  • Skepticism that "talking" can have a tangible healing effect.
  • The notion that you have to cope with psychological difficulties yourself, and turning to another person is a sign of weakness. nine0084

Help from close people in overcoming depression.

The support of loved ones, even when the patient does not express interest in it, is very important for overcoming depression.

    In this regard, the following advice can be given to relatives of patients:
  • Remember that depression is a disease in which sympathy is needed, but in no case should you plunge into the disease together with the patient, sharing his pessimism and despair. You need to be able to maintain a certain emotional distance, all the time reminding yourself and the patient that depression is a transient emotional state. nine0084
  • Studies have shown that depression is especially unfavorable in families where many critical remarks are made to the patient. Try to make it clear to the patient that his condition is not his fault, but a misfortune, that he needs help and treatment.
  • Try not to focus on the illness of a loved one and bring positive emotions into your life and the life of your family. If possible, try to involve the patient in some useful activity, and not remove him from business. nine0084

How to deal with depression on your own?

A modern person, especially one who lives in a metropolis, makes his career, success, life schedule with his idols, where every step, every working day, every visit to the doctor, going to the gym, calls and meetings with relatives and relatives and all other components our lives are painted literally by the minute.

We have learned how to talk briefly on mobile phones: only the main thing, only the main thing "to the point, in fact." Even our vacation is often planned ahead of time and it also has a schedule. We rush at a frantic pace, winning the right to rest and happiness, sometimes losing their very meaning, depriving ourselves of the joy of simply living. At some point, the "joy of life" becomes a prize that can only be obtained at the cost of incredible effort and unswerving determination. nine0003

We begin to deny ourselves everything, to overburden ourselves, fearing not to be in time. The success of our career is growing rapidly, external achievements are often striking in scope, but we are more and more gnawed by an inferiority complex and vague dissatisfaction. But, perhaps, somewhere in the program there was a failure? And the most immediate key to joy is getting it? In our everyday everyday language, the words "hedonism" and "pleasure" have become almost abusive. Meanwhile, the ancients (who were probably wiser than us) knew how to enjoy life and appreciate its pleasures. nine0003

It is also no coincidence that people who experience difficulties and stress tend to find ways to unwind and distract themselves. But it is important that moments of pleasure are not overloaded with unrealistic expectations or provoked by a feeling of despair, because then they worsen the situation, causing feelings of guilt and a decrease in self-esteem, and simply exposing the body to an excessive unexpected, albeit pleasant, load (after all, you can’t fast for a month and then eat at once). whole cake). This means that pleasures must be dosed, practiced regularly, made the norm of your life, and not try to squeeze them into a weekly “rest” scheduled by the hour. nine0003