Monday Mood – Do You Have Depression?
It’s that time of the year where the hours of sunlight are noticeably shorter. It is completely dark by 6:30 PM. Exposure to sunlight is proven to have a positive effect on mood. As we are not exposed to as much sunlight, some people develop a deficiency of Vitamin D. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it is very common to affect people from October through March. This is also a good time to remind you to set your clocks an hour back this Sunday for Daylight Savings Time. While it may be the weather, it would benefit some people to see if they are actually depressed. Keep reading to find out more about depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes physiological, mental, and emotional symptoms. This is an ongoing feeling of sadness. Other feelings that are tied in, include not feeling valued, feeling like you don’t matter, feeling unable to do any activities, and withdrawing from your social circles. Severe depression makes some people either want to, or actually commit suicide and is generally regarded as a serious issue. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. There has been more light shed on the stigma of talking about mental illness within the last ten years. Please let a trusted friend or family member know so that you are not suffering in silence.
There are some tell-tale signs that someone may fall on a spectrum of depression. If you want to get screened for depression, any reputable psychiatrist or psychologist can help you determine if you have depression. General symptoms include sadness, feelings of isolations, feelings of not belonging, mood swings, changes in weight, changes in appetite, sleeping too little or too much, and general feelings of hopelessness or that life is not worth living.
How to Cope With Depression
There are many different therapeutic ways that people can cope with depression. Firstly, reconnecting with loved ones is shown to be one of the most beneficial and nurturing ways to alleviate depression. Developing a support group is key to maintaining a positive outlook. Studies show that those with a support group are less likely to harm themselves than people without. Seeing a therapist on a routine basis can also help people identify what their underlying issues are. Perhaps medicine may be one’s best option as it helps to balance the brain’s chemistry.
Other activities to make people feel like themselves again include picking up a new or revisiting a hobby you once loved. When we are shown love or affection, dopamine is released in the brain. This is why some people get a therapy animal. Some breathing techniques can be very beneficial as well. These can be practiced when one feels overwhelmed. Practicing self care is probably one of the single most important things someone can do for themself and their overall mood. It is important to eat well, exercise, get the right amount of sleep, and to be kind to themself. Exercise is proven to be a great tool in short term health through the release of feel good chemicals, and to contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Do you feel as though you may have some of the same symptoms described in this post? You may want to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. Perhaps you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Unfortunately, there are people with Xeroderma Pigmentosum who need to avoid UV rays and are almost always indoors. Comment below if you or anyone you know has XP, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Depression.