With the days getting shorter, and the temperatures dropping. The changing of seasons can take a toll on person’s mental health.
Steve Kopp, PhD, Executive Director, and therapist at Genesis Psychology Associates says, “This is not a normal depression, this is coming at a time that’s related to a season.”
It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, and we;re currently in the peak of it. In most cases people deal with this type of depression in late fall and early winter.
“What we see is the diminished amount of light that we are exposed to affects our biorhythms. It also affects our activity levels, and our time outside. So that exposure to light as it decreases it really hurts us,” says Kopp.
He says there is still a way to get exposure to light when the season changes, it called a light box.
Kopp says, “That box is going to deliver if you have a high intensity light that mimics midday light to make your biorhythms think you’ve been out in the light.”
The symptoms include over sleeping, gaining weight, or being isolated. Kopp says SAD affects women four times more than men, and life style decisions that can combat the weather related-depression.
“Be sure you’re maintaining a very healthy sleep pattern, eating well, watch your activity level, make sure your’re socializing. If SAD becomes more moderate and severe, we want to look at a therapeutic option.”