Seasonal depression is one of the variants of recurrent depression. Seasonal low mood (depression) includes episodes of low mood in the autumn-winter season for 3 years or more. The occurrence of a depressive disorder in the spring-summer period is much less common.
Signs of seasonal depression
Symptoms of seasonal depression differ little from the classic forms:
– Decreased mood
– Absence or a sharp decrease in the severity of emotions, indifference, indifference (apathy) – Anxious and / or dreary feeling – Feeling of hopelessness
As a rule, this symptomatology is more pronounced in the morning upon awakening, in the late afternoon the condition improves. Seasonal depression has a number of specific symptoms. In people suffering from seasonal mood swings, along with anxiety, depressed mood, apathy, there is an increase in appetite and drowsiness. During depression, sufferers often put on weight by eating carbohydrate-rich foods. Often, there is weakness, fatigue, various unpleasant sensations in the body. Often, such symptoms are defined as asthenic syndrome.
Asthenic syndrome with seasonal depression includes: lethargy, fatigue, a feeling of weakness, a decrease in overall activity, both mental and physical, memory loss, a feeling of general physical malaise. Incomprehensible, unpleasant, conceived pain sensations appear in the body. Such symptoms are not associated with external stress. As a rule, symptoms are more pronounced in the morning. Toward evening there is a significant improvement in well-being.
Serotonin is a biologically active chemical substance. In the human body, it plays an important role in the formation of emotional reactions, perception of pain, regulation of sleep and eating behavior. It is the violation of serotonin metabolism that is the main cause of seasonal depression. In winter, the content of serotonin in the body is lower than in summer. Melatonin, the main hormone of the pineal gland, is responsible for the regulation of serotonin metabolism, the production of which depends on the amount of light.
One of the classic treatments is light therapy . For more severe symptoms, antidepressants are used in combination with psychotherapy. To prevent such depressive conditions, psychiatrists recommend starting antidepressants in advance. Preventive medication helps to avoid the onset of symptoms during an exacerbation.