I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs with my mental health, and have been coping with depression and anxiety for about a decade now. In the last month, I’ve noticed a big...
During the winter months, I always begin to notice that my depression gets worse. A few years ago in therapy, my therapist informed me that I was most likely suffering from seasonal depression. I knew that I always preferred the spring and summer more than winter, but I had NO idea about the mental toll winter had on me. Not only do I always feel more depressed and anxious, but I find myself being super fatigued and having little motivation. Of course, moving to a warmer area could solve the issue of seasonal depression, but that is not something that I want to do, and a lot of people are unable to move due to seasonal depression. Rather than making a huge life change, here are some things I have found that help combat the winter blues.
During the winter months, depending on where you live, moods can change. You may feel sad and down during the winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common type of depression that can happen during the cold, dark winter months. Being from Pennsylvania, I have almost 4-5 months of frigid and dark days each year. I never knew why I felt more down, tired, and fatigued during these months. Knowing what I know now, I most likely experience Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is thought to be related to the lack of light during the winter months.
Ever since I was a toddler my mother has described me as anxious, but ironically enough this is one of the few illness I do not have a diagnosis for. Sure I have anxiety especially social anxiety, but I do not care if I do not have an official paper saying I have it or not. Although my psychiatrist may have diagnosed me, I do not really care to look through my medical files to confirm. It is debilitating at times when I am too afraid to order my own food or am unable to talk to a new person. I’m a champion at crying in restaurants. A diagnosis likely will not change that for me, but it might for you. When I am in therapy they’re usually aware right off the bat that I’m an anxious person so I do not need a diagnosis as it does not change my own quality of life.
Our environments can have a powerful impact on how we view things, especially in how we view the things about ourselves. Because adolescents spent a lot of time in school, their teachers, their classmates, and the content that they learn can influence how they interpret information. This also includes mental health: conversations with peers and the ways that teachers talk about their expectations on students can have subtle, but lasting effects.