Dr.Orhan Karaca explained the symptoms and treatment of seasonal depression, which causes mood depressions in seasonal changes.
Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that occurs at certain times of the year for at least two years in a row. Autumn and winter months, when the daylight starts to decrease, appear as periods with a very high risk in terms of seasonal depression risk. However, seasonal depression can also be seen in spring and summer.
What are the causes of seasonal depression?
During the winter months, due to the shorter days and less contact with daylight, the level of melatonin in the brain increases while the level of serotonin decreases. While melatonin increases sleep, the decrease in serotonin causes symptoms such as weakness, exhaustion, fatigue and reluctance. Seasonal depression is thought to be caused by changes in the levels of these chemicals. Presence of bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder) in the past or having diseases such as depression, difficult living conditions, severe physical illnesses are factors that increase the susceptibility.
How is seasonal depression treated?
Phototherapy method (light therapy) is the first choice in the treatment of seasonal depression. This treatment is based on exposing the person to a light source that will imitate daylight for a certain period of time. Thus, the daylight that the person receives is given from outside. However, it is necessary to use medication in severe and moderate depressive cases. Some severe cases are also treated as an inpatient. Apart from this, psychotherapy (especially cognitive behavioral psychotherapy) is an important treatment method. However, there are therapy methods other than this therapy method, and these are also used in appropriate cases. Occupations that the person enjoys and increase their functionality also provide benefits in treatment.