Rates of seasonal depression higher as days get shorter


JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’ve been feeling down, fatigued and maybe a little unmotivated–you’re not the only one.

Around this time of year, seasonal depression is very common. Therapists say gloomier, colder weather usually makes us feel this way. When the days get shorter and colder, some of us start to feel down.

Mark Miller, Therapist, Ozark Center, said, “Seasonal depression is basically a depression that is prominent during the changes of seasons.”

Seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder is very common this time of year. Therapists say the decrease in sunlight and prolonged amounts of darkness triggers this change in our mood.

“‘And that creates depressions symptoms from fatigue to low energy to sadness, to irritability and all the kind of depression symptoms.”

And those feelings are amplified this year as many of us are dealing with coronavirus anxiety.

“I’ve had a lot clients that when this kicked off in February and March, they did not leave their house. So when their coming in now, as they come back in, you find their more irritable, their depression is much higher.”

But there are some steps you can take to make your life a little easier during this time.

“Go outside and breathe the air. The sunlight, even if it’s cloudy, because you’re going to get some things from those things. Vitamin D is very, very important, right. There’s a lot of people that were finding are vitamin D deficient, and that plays a big role in it as well. Making sure, multi-vitamins or something along them, that way you’re getting vitamin D in your system.”

Miller says seasonal depression is especially common in those who are already experiencing anxiety and depression. It is estimated about 10 million Americans struggle with seasonal depression.

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