Symptoms of Seasonal Depression (And How Ketamine Can Help)

Wintertime can be filled with joy and family fun, but there are those who experience mental health problems during winter. They are unable to ignore the sadness, loss of interest, or fatigue. These feelings are often dismissed as normal. However, seasonal depression (also known as SAD) is a condition that affects the mood and can be triggered by sadness, loss of interest, or fatigue. There are many treatment options available to help those suffering from seasonal depression. Understanding the signs and symptoms of seasonal depression will help you to recognize when your loved one is in need of help. We will be discussing the symptoms and possible treatments for seasonal depression in this blog.

Seasonal Depression Symptoms

While the symptoms and severity of seasonal depressive disorder will vary between people, the following are some general guidelines to watch out for:

  • Feeling sad or listless most days
  • Loss interest in activities
  • Low energy
  • Oversleeping and/or problems staying awake
  • Hunger for carbohydrates or any other changes in appetite
  • Overeating and weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, guilty, or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety increased or new

Seasonal depression is most common in the fall and winter months. However, you can also experience it in summer and spring. You may experience symptoms like:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor appetite
  • Restlessness and/or agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Flashes of violence

Seasonal depression can make the holiday season more difficult for those who struggle with it.

Treatments for Seasonal Depression

As people react to different symptoms of seasonal depression, so will they. Talk to your doctor to determine which treatment is best for you. There are many treatment options available.

  • Ketamine Infusion Therapy: Ketamine infusions “rewire” the brain to improve neuron function. This is a great option for people who are unable to find relief from other treatments or suffer from severe symptoms. After just one session, patients can begin to notice the benefits.
  • Phototherapy – Also known by light therapy, phototherapy can be used to treat seasonal depression. The lightbox projects a light that is similar to natural sunlight. The lightbox produces chemical changes in the brain which lift the mood and alleviate other symptoms, according to research.
  • Antidepressants are prescribed when symptoms become more severe. Antidepressants are used to alter brain chemicals to improve mood and reduce other symptoms. Depending on severity of symptoms, antidepressants may be prescribed for either the short- or long-term. Some patients may need to test several antidepressants before they find the one that works best for them.
  • Therapy – Talking to a therapist may be able to help some people with seasonal depression. Psychologists and therapists can help patients understand their feelings and provide coping strategies.
  • Vitamin D – Seasonal depression can sometimes be caused by a deficiency of vitamin D during winter months. A daily vitamin D supplement can be helpful in reducing seasonal depression symptoms.

Seasonal depression can be very debilitating. However, knowing the symptoms can help you seek the help you need. Seasonal depression is more common during this time of the year. You or someone you care about may have mental health issues. Contact a doctor immediately.

This article was written by a medical professional at Florida Medical Pain Management. is proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries. 

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