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Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder – CBT Kenya

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that you experience during particular seasons or times of year. Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life. If you have SAD, you’ll experience depression during some seasons in particular, or because of certain types of weather.

It’s common to be affected by changing seasons and weather, or to have times of year when you feel more or less comfortable. For example, you might find that your mood or energy levels drop when it gets colder or warmer, or notice changes in your sleeping or eating patterns. But if your feelings are interfering with your day to day life, it could be a sign that you have depression. If they keep coming back at the same time of year, doctors might call this seasonal affective disorder or ‘seasonal depression’.

What you need to know

  •  Depression is different from feeling sad or unhappy. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away.
  •  Get help. If you think you may be depressed, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  •  Women are affected more often than men.
  •  Without treatment, depression can last weeks, months or years, but most people respond well to medication, therapy or a combination of the two.
  •  Most people with clinical depression who seek treatment see improvement, usually within weeks.

How is SAD treated?

  • Exposure to sunlight. Spending time outside or near a window can help relieve symptoms.
  • Light therapy. If increasing sunlight is not possible, exposure to a special light for a specific amount of time each day may help.
  • Psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal therapy helps change the distorted views you may have of yourself and the environment around you. It can help you improve interpersonal relationship skills, and identifying things that cause you stress as well as how to manage them.
  • Antidepressants. These prescription medicines can help correct the chemical imbalance that may lead to SAD.

There are also things you can do for yourself to help relieve symptoms:

  • Get help. If you think you may be depressed, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Set realistic goals in light of the depression. Don’t take on too much. Break large tasks into small ones, set priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to be with other people and confide in someone. It is usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Do things that make you feel better. Going to a movie, gardening, or taking part in religious, social, or other activities may help. Doing something nice for someone else can also help you feel better.
  • Delay big decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition—change jobs, get married or divorced—discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember: People rarely “snap out of” a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
  • Try to be patient and focus on the positives. This may help replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression. The negative thoughts will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.

Key points about SAD

  • SAD is a type of depression that happens during a certain season of the year.
  • There is no clear cause of SAD. Less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be linked to a chemical change in the brain and may be part of the cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Melatonin, a sleep-related hormone, also may be linked to SAD.
  • In general, nearly everyone with depression has ongoing feelings of sadness, and may feel helpless, hopeless, and irritable.
  • SAD may be diagnosed after a careful mental health exam and medical history done by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
  • Depression is most often treated with light therapy, therapy, and in some cases antidepressants.

How a psychologist can help

A psychologist can help you identify problem areas and then develop an action plan for changing them. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

Practicing psychologists use a variety of evidence-based treatments—most commonly psychotherapy—to help people improve their lives. Psychologists, who have doctoral degrees, receive one of the highest levels of education of any health care professional. On average, they spend seven years in education and training following their undergraduate degrees. Moreover, psychologists are required to take continuing education to maintain their professional standing.

Word from CBT Kenya

Seeking therapy is a major step for a lot of people. It can be incredibly intimidating and even the thought of talking about mental health is enough to prevent many from ever trying therapy. If you are someone who is nervous to start therapy and you’d like a more private, one-on-one experience, individual therapy may be the right choice for you.

Getting professional help does not mean you are weak or broken. It’s choosing to get better and take care of yourself. CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.

 

 

 

Author: cbtkeadmin