Does Winter Affect Mental Health Symptoms?

Does Winter Affect Mental Health Symptoms?

As exciting as the holidays are, winter also brings along short, gray and cold days that can have a detrimental effect on your mental health. People often refer to the lowered state of mood during winter as the winter blues, but if symptoms persist as winter continues, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Whether you experience seasonal affective disorder or stronger mental health symptoms as a result of winter, it may be best to seek professional treatment in order to overcome your symptoms.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Most people experience some negative effects on mood at some point during the winter, but these effects are temporary and pass without further treatment. Seasonal affective disorder is a mental disorder that affects about one in 20 Americans each year and symptoms include feeling isolated, low energy and fatigue. Seasonal affective disorder may affect some people for consecutive winters, with symptoms disappearing when the days become longer again. SAD can be treated with light therapy, where the patient is exposed to a bright light that mimics the sun’s rays. Short-term antidepressants, as well as individual therapy an also be used to treat SAD to help the patient minimize his symptoms.

Winter and Other Mental Health Issues

If you suffer from a pre-existing mental health disorder, the winter may cause you to experience stronger symptoms. If your symptoms get worse during the winter you should speak with your therapist about the changes to decide the best course of action. You may be experiencing SAD along with your pre-existing condition or your symptoms may be intensified, but either way you should identify the cause of the problem so it can be addressed. Additional therapy can help you identify the problems leading to your symptoms and you can learn to manage your disorder so symptoms do not interfere with your daily life.

Recovering from Mental Health Disorders

Mental health issues can be overwhelming, but with treatment anyone can learn to manage and minimize their symptoms. Call our toll-free helpline today to speak with an admissions coordinator who can answer your questions about treatment options and let you know if health insurance will help pay for your treatment. We are here for you 24 hours a day to provide more information on mental health treatment.