Category Archives for Medication

Seasonal Depression in Pittsburgh

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 :

  • People who have families who have SAD
  • Women
  • Individuals between 15 and 55 years old
  • Individuals who live in an areas where winter daylight time is very short

 

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:

  • Feeling grumpy, sad , nervous of having mood swings
  • Anhedonia or lack of pleasure in things you normally love
  • Eating much more or less than usual
  • Gaining weight
  • Sleeping a lot more than you normally do, but still feeling slugging
  • Difficulty concentrating

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 .

Treatment

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.

 

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

 

 

 

 



How depression actually feels

Many people have the misconception that depression just feels like sadness. This is not the case. Depression can feel like a complex web of differing negative emotions. It’s important to also keep in mind that men and women are socialized to express these differently. For example, a female could cry to show her pain, whereas a man could get angry and /or aggressive in hopes of getting the hurt out. Here is what depression actually feels like:

  • It can feel like complete and utter emptiness or self loathing. You could have a hard time looking in the mirror , or feel extreme hate or disgust with yourself.
  • Depression can become so debilitating that you can go numb and feel nothing. This numb feeling could also arise if you are prescribed medication like an SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and are on too high of a dosage or are prescribed a combination of medications that do not work well for you . If this is happening, contact your psychiatrist or doctor immediately and report this and any other side effects so they can  properly adjust your medication.
  • Depression can also be experienced with anxiety; this commonly feels like a rollercoaster ride  with substantial mood swings. You find yourself stressed and feeling stressed out and later find yourself feeling withdrawn and depressed. These mood swings drain your energy and leave you emotionally and physically exhausted.
  • Some people who experience depression isolate as well and try to hide from their friends and loved ones. You would do things such as stop answering your phone, calling  off of work  and avoiding sunday dinners with your family.
  • Guilt can be marked by depression as well. This could be branched from the stigma that is attached with having moments of “mental illness”.  The truth is that there are 16.1 million American Adults ages 18 and older, according to NIMH ( National Institute of Mental Health), who have had at least one major depressive episode within the past year.

If you are feeling down, you are not alone ; you can get better and there is help.