About 3 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression occurs during the same season every year. You might have feel feeling depressed the past two winters, but cheered up during the warmer months. Or you may have felt down during the summer.
Everyone could get seasonal depression, but it tends to be much more common in :
No mental health experts are exactly sure of what specifically causes SAD, but many think lack of sunlight is a big trigger. This lack of light could mess up your circadian rhythms or cause problems with serotonin which is the chemical that affects your mood.
The lack of sunlight in Pittsburgh is extreme compared to many other cities across the US. We also tend to be cloudy which blocks out a lot of sunlight. That combined with the recent freezing temperatures has kept a lot of people inside and not taking absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Actually, about 10% of adults living in the United States have a Vitamin D deficiency.
You might be wondering if you have seasonal depression or SAD. Here are the symptoms:
It is so important to look at SAD in a holistic manner before getting diagnosed. In addition to therapy, it’s crucial to see your doctor so she or he can run blood tests to rule out any other conditions that may be making you feel blue. One of these common ones is hypothyroidism or low thyroid. At Makin Wellness, we could do the mental heath assessment .
There are multiple ways to help treat seasonal depression. Light therapy can be used, but counseling is one of the most effective ways of treating SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy at Makin Wellness can help you learn more about seasonal depression , how to manage your symptoms and ways to prevent future episodes. Medication can also be prescribed and taken to help alleviate some or your symptoms. Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Effexor and Wellbutrin are most commonly prescribed for SAD. Vitamin D supplements or foods rich in Vitamin D like yogurt, salmon, shitake mushrooms and freshly squeezed OJ can help combat any potential Vitamin D deficiencies you could have. Be sure to talk with your doctor and therapist about any side effects from your medication and check with your MD about Vit D supplementation .
If you are struggling with seasonal depression, call us today at 412-532-1249 to schedule your free phone consultation.
About Makin Wellness
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .
As many of you already know, exercise so important for the body and your health. But did you know that exercise has fantastic benefits psychologically as well? Many of you are familiar with that that incredible feeling you get immediately when you’re done exercising.
That experience is your brain oozing dopamine. Dopamine is the feel good chemical that your brain produces and releases during sex, exercise, eating and other enjoyable activities. This differs from person to person. Four instance, one who enjoys hiking will release lots of dopamine , where is someone who doesn’t enjoy it will not be releasing that chemical.
One who is really stressed out or depressed is probably not releasing enough dopamine. Exercise is one of the easiest and fastest ways of releasing dopamine and feeling better. Other things you can do to help to improve your mood are laughing, playing with a love the pet, or even thinking about anything that’s pleasurable for you. Dopamine is the chemical that makes you feel happy , so be sure to exercise consistently in order to experience that release of dopamine often.
Exercising is also an amazing way to reduce your stress as well. Many people who are stressed out or angry find a great relief and working out and channel that energy into their work out. This is a great way to release a lot of negative emotion. If you experience a lot of stress or anxiety, consider making exercise a part of your self-care routine.
So now you know that working out can help you feel happier and reduces stress. Another great benefit from exercising is increased confidence. You can hit up Gold’s gym before or after a session at Makin Wellness if you are looking for a gym Downtown! If you are interested in personal training, AMP fitness has extremely talented trainers. You don’t need a research study to show that those who exercise more often tend to be more confident . Stay consistent with working out will increase your confidence is well!
Depression is one of those topics that no one wants to talk about. It is that something that eats away at your being , one minute at a time. It can be debilitating and make you feel completely and utterly hopeless. How does it look like when someone is able to successfully overcome their depression? We asked some people that did this and are sharing their experiences below!
“It was a daily battle”
This is going to be something that you work at every day. When you start to notice yourself getting pulled to the “dark side”, it is important to push yourself towards your end goal instead. Refer to the emotional guidance scale and how you are always aiming at moving up on that guide. You are going to have bad days and you are going to have better days. The process is not a straight ride up to the top, but rather a roller coaster ride with a blend of emotions. It is also important to keep in mind that change takes time; do not expect or wish for instant changes or a cure to happen at the snap of your fingers.
“I finally addressed everything I was trying to hide”
Many times our past traumas and fear can get buried underneath our conscious mind into our subconscious. Everyone is different, so these will manifest in different ways, but for many it shows up as deeply embedded depression. Once you talk about the things you tried to forget or what most bothers you, you can feel very relieved. You start to process what occurred and find ways to move forward. Not only can this help alleviate depression, but it empowers you as well. You can later use these skills you learn in session in other areas in your life.
“I lost weight”.
It can be surprising how many people will literally eat their emotions. This is something that I see practically everyday and can be an easy habit to get into .Many will stuff their emotions with double stuffed oreos and other foods that not only increase your waistline, but decrease your mental health as well. In Depression to Joy , I talk about the importance of talking about depression and finding ways of moving forward. Once people pinpoint what it is that makes them feel the need to eat when upset, they are then able to focus on building new coping skills and feeling better.
pittsburgh depression treatment
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pittsburgh depression treatment
When we want to improve or change our emotions, it is very important to keep in mind that “quantum leaping” is not a possibility. The emotional ride from Depression to Joy involves many other emotions that you could experience in between. The secret is finding what emotion you are experiencing on this scale now and then then changing your thoughts so you start to feel better a bit at a time. Here is the Emotional Guidance Scale:
Notice how fear, grief , depression, despair and powerlessness are the bottom of this scale. The good news is that if these are emotions you are feeling often, there is nowhere to go besides up on this scale!
You may also notice how anger is higher up on the scale than depression is. Many times when people are working on their depression or powerlessness, they start to feel better and eventually experience anger. Anger doesn’t tend to bother the person who is angry , but rather the people that are predominately around them… so they get pressured into feeling depressed again , as when people are depressed they aren’t yelling and upsetting others. Anger is actually much more empowering . Think about a time when you were depressed and then a time when you were angry; doesn’t it feel much better to be pissed off then down? The trick with anger is to experience it and then work on moving your way up the emotional scale towards discouragement and blame.
How can I move up on this emotional scale? Having a professional counselor is really helpful with this. Talking with someone who can help you move up this scale and process your emotions can work wonders for you.
Let us know what your thoughts are about this scale and if you have used this before! Like this post and be sure to share it on Facebook!