Does the Weather Affect your Depression?
It could. Many people get cranky when it is too hot, or too humid, but perhaps even more people’s depression is affected by the weather with a condition often called “SAD” or “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” also known as “Winter Depression” or “Winter Blues.” If you suffer from SAD, lack of sunlight during the day, or the change in the amount of sunlight during the winter months can affect your mood and cause you to feel depressed.
You might want to keep a journal to keep track of how the weather might affect your depression. Rainy days, with their lack of sunlight can often cause people to feel more depressed and can be combated with light therapy warmth, exercise, and other activities.
Sunlight affects our intake of certain vitamins and can let us know that it is time to get up. Bad weather often comes with a lack of sunlight, making it even more difficult for people who already suffer from depression to get out of bed and get moving. Often this leads to their “Activities of Daily Living” or ADLs suffering. A week of bad weather can make a person seem more depressed for exactly this reason.
If you notice that your depression worsens during the winter or in bad weather you may want to discuss UV light therapy with your doctor. For mild symptoms, spending time outdoors during the day, or rearranging your home and workplace to receive more sunlight may give some relief. Turning a bright light on for fifteen minutes after you wake up has been said to help some people. An hour walk in the sunlight can also do wonders for your depression.
If seasonal depression has affected you more and these simple remedies won’t help call GenPsych for help. We can be reached at 1-855-GENPSYCH.