Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. Most people experience symptoms starting in the fall which may continue into the winter months, and the holidays can bring on additional stress.
Symptoms include depression, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in appetite (changes in weight), and difficulty concentrating.
The Mayo Clinic Staff developed these 10 tips for preventing stress and depression which I like to share with my clients:
Acknowledge your feelings
Reach out (don’t isolate yourself)
Be realistic (with time and money)
Set aside difference
Stick to a budget
Learn to say NO
Don’t abandon healthy habits
Take a breather (relax)
Seek professional help if needed
It is normal to feel sad and stressed sometimes; but if your sadness leads to hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, or significant changes in appetite and/or sleep, consult a social worker or physician.
Dawn East, MSW, LCSW