Depression Help
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Winter Depression

Winter depression is a condition that affects many individuals each year and it is associated with what is termed as “seasonal affect disorder”. For reasons that are still being researched, individuals, especially women, experience an altered and depressed mood when winter approaches. This occurs without any mundane explanation for the depression and scientists believe it occurs due to physical changes within the body when the season of winter arrives.

The symptoms associated with the occurrence of winter depression are those common to many forms of depression: fatigue, altered mood, a sudden decrease in appetite or a sudden, unexplained increase in appetite, and a general disinterest in social activities. The reason that winter depression is termed so is because the individuals that experience this particular form of depression seem well in the spring and summer months of the year, but experience a repeated and extended period of depression during the fall and winter months.

Research has suggested that this particular form of depression is brought on by the natural change of light that occurs in the winter months. As the days grow shorter, people are exposed to less light during the day and the limited amount of light affects the levels of melatonin in the body. Lower levels of melatonin are associated with depression and therefore, some doctors use bright light therapy to treat patients with winter depression. Alternatively, antidepressants can be prescribed for the condition and individuals can also seek out therapy in extreme cases of winter depression.