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Seasonal Depression Treatments

Practicing in Maryland, Washington, DC & Northern Virginia

Depression is a disorder that should be taken very seriously. More than 350 million people suffer from depression around the world. However, there are many different types of depression, including types of depression that only occur for short periods of time. For example, seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, affects as many as four to six percent of all Americans. Even though it’s a temporary disorder, it’s one that should be taken seriously.

Contact us today for seasonal depression treatments in Washington, D.C.

What is Seasonal Depression?

People who are affected by seasonal depression tend to begin showing symptoms in the fall, which then continue throughout winter. In some rare cases, some people experience seasonal depression in the spring and summer seasons. Many of the symptoms caused by seasonal depression are similar to those of major depression. The main difference is that seasonal depression does go away, but it will return regularly if not properly treated.

What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Depression?

Symptoms can actually vary depending on when you suffer from seasonal depression. The following are some of the common symptoms that individuals with seasonal depression during the winter season experience:

  • A lack of energy and feelings of general tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulties getting along with others
  • A fear of rejection
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Changes in appetite, including increased cravings

The symptoms of seasonal depression in the summer are similar but can differ slightly. They include:

  • Loss of weight
  • Feelings of anxiety or agitation
  • A loss of appetite
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Feelings of depression

Causes of Seasonal Depression

The specific cause of seasonal depression isn’t known, but there are a number of factors that could contribute to the disorder. These factors include:

  • Your circadian rhythm – Also known as your biological clock, the reduced level of sunlight in the winter season can cause winter-onset seasonal depression.
  • Your melatonin levels – The change in seasons can disrupt the balance of the melatonin levels in your body. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that’s important to your sleep patterns and your mood.
  • Your serotonin levels – Serotonin is a chemical produced by the brain that affects your mood. The lack of sunlight in the winter season can cause a drop in your serotonin production, which could result in depression.

Treating Seasonal Depression

Before people understood what seasonal depression was, they often assumed it was just a case of the “winter blues.” While it’s normal to feel down on occasion, if you find yourself suffering from some of the symptoms of seasonal depression, you should speak to a doctor. A medical professional may prescribe certain antidepressants and/or recommend psychotherapy as forms of treatment.

If you think that you might be experiencing seasonal depression, then it’s important that you seek professional medical advice to help treat it. Be sure to contact us at Dr. Robert S. Enelow today by calling 202-728-9630 to schedule a medical introduction.

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