How To Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

During this time of year, many people experience what has been termed “The Winter Blues.” Some people may undergo mood changes based on cooler temperatures and less daylight. While others may have a deeper condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months; sapping your energy and making you feel moody. – Courtesy of The Mayo Clinic

The National Institute of Health offers some tips to help with Seasonal Depression

Lift Your Mood

These “self-care” tips might help with seasonal depression. See a mental health professional if sadness doesn’t go away or interferes with your daily life:

  • Go to a movie, take a walk, go ice-skating or do other activities you normally enjoy.
  • Get out in the sunlight or brightly lit spaces, especially early in the day.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Eat nutritious foods, and avoid overloading on carbohydrates like cookies and candies.
  • Be patient. You won’t suddenly “snap out of” depression. Your mood will improve gradually.
  • If you have thoughts of suicide, get help right away. Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For ongoing mental health support contact Hillcrest Children and Family Center at 202-232-6100.

Hillcrest would like to thank Bobby Gailes host of “Taking It To The Streets” for interviewing our Sr. Clinical & Program Administrator,  Dr. O’Tillia Hunter.  Taking It To the Streets is aired on WHUR 96.3 FM on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.

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