October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. While many of us look forward to the colder months and the holiday cheer and cozy family traditions they may bring, there are those who may also experience anxiety and depression during this season. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “5 percent of adults in the U.S. experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it can last up to 40 percent of the year”. It is also more common among women than men and can be debilitating for some if left unmanaged. Symptoms of SAD may include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling sad or depressed,
- Loss of interest in pleasure activities,
- Change in appetite or sleeping patterns,
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
Thankfully, there are strategies to help combat this. Some of these strategies include light therapy, antidepressant medications, and talk therapy. Whichever way you choose to deal with your anxiety or depression, know that you are not alone and help is available. There are many local and national resources available that are free or low cost. No one should have to suffer in silence.
If you or someone you know is struggling with SAD or other mental health challenges, check out the resources below.
Text WELL to 65173
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Call: 800-950-NAMI (6264)
Text NAMI to 741741