As the weather starts to change, we consider the changes that we may face during this time of year. One of the illnesses that can occur during the change of seasons starting in the fall includes seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the time of year. Fall-onset SAD starts in the fall and goes away in the spring and summer. It is the most common form of SAD.

The symptoms of SAD are the same as with typical (non-seasonal) depression. People with depression feel down most of the time for at least 2 weeks in addition to one of the following: no longer caring about or enjoying things that they used to like to do OR they feel sad, down, hopeless, or cranky most of the day, almost every day.

Depression can also lead to: weight loss/gain, sleeping too much/too little, feeling tired and without energy, feeling guilty or worthless, forgetfulness or confusion, moving and speaking slower, restlessness, or thoughts about suicide or death.

If you happen to be experiencing thoughts of suicide or death, there is a new phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988. You can either call or text 988 to contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones across the United States. You can also visit 988lifeline.org for more information.

If you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself or your family member, please don’t hesitate to call our office. There are many options to help treat seasonal affective disorder in addition to non-seasonal depression. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Stay safe and have a happy and healthy fall!