Seasonal Depressive Disorder | Signs of Seasonal Depression

Many of us in health care are familiar with Seasonal Depression or Anxiety. Season depression is a term which describes a "trigger" that provokes a depressive episode or anxiety attack. I have known individuals who experience the these seasonal issues. Each of these individuals have the tendency to experience an anxiety attack when the seasons change from spring to summer. Ironic because we would think that these anxiety or depressive episodes would be brought on by the shorter and colder days of the winter season. One of these individuals does also has the tendency to suffer from anxiety in the winter as well.

We don't know exactly why the changing of the seasons has this impact on mental conditions but the occurrences happen too often to write them off as aberrations. In both cases each person is aware of these triggers. This is key; they both go to their doctors to get some extra medication to preempt a full anxiety or depressive episode. One individual will have his doctor give him a two week supply of  Klonopin which seems to do the job of staving off the anxiety attack; and the other gentleman deals with an increase in his SSRI's.

Knowing the signs of seasonal depressive disorder we can then learn some keys to avoiding seasonal depression: 1. Acknowledge it. 2. Prepare for it and 3. Change your environment to possibly avoid future occurrences. Sometimes just knowing that you have the extra "meds" is enough to stave off the anxiety attack without having to ever resort to using the medication. Changing your environment can also be great help. If the short cold days of winter tend to bring on a depressive episode; put your lights and appliances on timers so you don't go home to a dark house. Keep the TV and or radio on as well. These little things will sometimes keeps these triggers from sending you into an anxiety, panic attack or depressive episode. Always keep your doctor informed as well so he or she can be there to help you; it is often easier to prevent an episode than go through one and your support network is key. Stay close to your friends, do some introspection as to why these triggers occur. Maybe you can get to the root causes and alleviate the problems as time goes on. These seasonal changes might bring on a feeling of "change" occurring in your life of which you feel a loss of control which is making you anxious or depressed? Maybe they bring back old memories and hurts that have to be dealt with instead of glossed over? It was once said that a great work of art is first and foremost a "work". So is a good healthy life; we have to keep working at it day by day.

This article is for informational purposes only and not meant to diagnose or treat any mental illness