Holiday Blues and The Winter Slump
The days have gotten shorter and the nights exceedingly colder.
Students around the country cram in as much information into their heads before final exams and semester breaks. Applications for graduate school and jobs are nervouslylooked over and finally turned in. Mothers and fathers work to prepare and brace themselves for a huge wave ofkids returning home after years with an empty nest. Friends are reunited after attending different schools. Families from far away places finally come together to share love and create memories with one another. Decorative lights come up and battle the dark persistent cold outside. The holiday season is known for bringing more joy into our lives.
And yet, the cold introduces a certain solemnness despite the celebrations and merriment frequently observed alongside it. Winter inspires an urge to stay indoors, to feelmore comfortable, whether at home at the expense ofhaving company or snuggled under a thick blanket in front of a burning fire. And sometimes these urges start to feel more necessary than usual, taking over our days and interfering with our lives.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression has been shown to strongly affect those living farthest from the equator and is also more prevalent among women than men (National, 2012). SAD is characterized by recurrentdepressive episodes during specific seasons such as the late fall and winter. Symptoms most commonly include (but are not limited to) oversleeping, daytime fatigue, lethargy, increased eating, weight gain, hopelessness, lack of interest in social activities, and even suicidal thoughts.
If you or a friend may be exhibiting these characteristics it may be helpful to explore a knowledgeable resource and find an effective treatment plan.
All too often people we care about lose sight of the warmth and light blessed in their life when confronted by the constant cold and darkness surrounding their days. Therapy can be the small nudge to keep you or a loved one floating during troubled waters.
If you notice someone who has started to miss class or work regularly it may beneficial to touch base. For further information contact Healing Hidden Hurts at 888.349.1116.
National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI). Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). (2012, December). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=23051
Rosenthal, N. E., Sack, D. A., Gillin, J. C., Lewy, A. J., Goodwin, F. K., Davenport, Y., … & Wehr, T. A. (1984). Seasonal affective disorder: a description of the syndrome and preliminary findings with light therapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 41(1), 72.