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What Is Seasonal Depression Disorder?

Many factors can cause people to suffer from depression. Some of them include drug abuse, a hostile living environment, and stress. What people don’t know is that the changing of the seasons can cause depression too. Doctors refer to this phenomenon as seasonal depression disorder.

Whether your depression occurs seasonally or it’s something you battle year-round, there is help and hope available. At our mental health treatment programs, we provide support for those battling depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other concerns. We offer a combination of evidence-based and experiential therapies, which we tailor to the unique needs of the individual, giving them the best chance for long-term recovery. To learn more about our seasonal depression disorder treatment, please contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.

What Is Seasonal Depression Disorder?

Doctors more commonly refer to seasonal depression disorder as a seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression occurs as the seasons begin to change. In fact, depression typically starts and stops at about the same time every year.

Everyone gets SAD at different times, but the most common are in fall and winter. Their feelings of depression can last until the coming of spring. When people suffer from SAD, they tend to feel moody and as if they have no energy.

What Are the Symptoms of SAD?

Before people can seek a depression treatment center in North Carolina, they have to know that they suffer from SAD. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Lost interest in favorite activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Low energy levels
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Feelings of depression nearly every day

Keep in mind that SAD affects people of all ages and both genders. Also, symptoms of SAD typically start mild and get worse as the season progresses unless people get help.

Link Between SAD and Substance Use

When suffering from SAD, people experience depression nearly every day. As a result, they start to look for some kind of relief. Without professional help, they may get relief by abusing drugs, even if it’s just momentary relief.

Of course, substance use can cause SAD to develop as well. It occurs because of the chemical imbalance that drugs create in the brain. Once a chemical imbalance happens, the brain becomes susceptible to mental disorders.

Treatment for SAD

Treating SAD involves a number of methods. One of the most popular is psychotherapy or talk therapy. For some people, talking with a trained professional about their seasonal funk or winter blues is enough to overcome it. Psychiatrists can teach them coping skills to make dealing with SAD easier.

Another popular type of treatment is light therapy or phototherapy. The idea behind it is that fall and winter are darker seasons with shorter days. Since people stay inside more often, light therapy focuses on outdoor activities or ultraviolet light exposure.

In some cases, doctors prescribe medication to help people deal with SAD. Unfortunately, some medications aren’t a great fit for people who suffer from substance use disorder. Only doctors can determine when medication is the right fit for people.

In addition, if you are battling seasonal depression disorder and addiction, we recommend finding a dual diagnosis treatment program. This program addresses both depression and addiction concurrently, giving you the tools to manage both conditions. For instance, our dual diagnosis treatment program may provide strategies such as:

  • Reducing mental health symptoms
  • Strengthening your support network
  • Providing strategies to manage stress and depression symptoms without returning to substance use
  • Minimizing the chances of relapse

With the techniques you can gain through this treatment, you can manage your mental and physical health better.

Get Help at Red Oak Recovery®

At Red Oak Recovery®, we offer young adult rehab programs. However, we take our programs a step further with dual diagnosis treatment. Using dual diagnosis programs, we can help young adults get over not only substance use problems but also underlying causes. This treatment includes helping people who suffer from seasonal depression disorder.

Red Oak Recovery® knows that a rehab center is only as good as the programs that it offers. That’s why we strive to provide services that are a good fit for our clients, including:

  • Eco-therapy
  • Gender-specific rehab
  • Individual therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Trauma therapy

Don’t let depression lead you down the path of substance use. Learn more about seasonal depression disorder. Reach out to Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.