The Dallas area has the benefit of mild winters and many days of sun. But many people in the area will still feel the effects of seasonal depression. Shorter days with less sunshine and more time spent indoors can lead to feelings of the “winter blues” or “winter depression,” that can make you feel low throughout the season and affect your quality of life.
Aware Behavioral Health works with patients in Dallas who experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Dr. Sehdev takes the time to understand your concerns and provides effective treatments that are chosen specifically based on your needs. Our goal is to help you feel your best throughout the year by managing any form of depression. Contact us at 888-677-4562 to learn more.
Understanding a SAD Diagnosis
As seasons change throughout the year, the changing length of days can affect your body. Sunlight helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that stabilizes moods, and melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. When limited daylight hours reduce the amount of sunlight you normally get, your mood and sleep can be thrown off. This may result in a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder shares many of the same symptoms as other depressive disorders, including:
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness.
- Low energy or oversleeping.
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping.
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities.
- Changes in appetite.
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions.
- Disinterest in social situations.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Symptoms of SAD may go away at the next change of the season, only to come back the following year. Alternatively, people who have major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder the rest of the year may continue to have depression year round.
The majority of SAD diagnosis are in the fall and winter when sunlight is scarce. However, changing seasons can interrupt your body’s circadian rhythm at any time of the year, and some patients experience seasonal affective disorder during the spring and summer instead.
How We Treat SAD at Aware Behavioral Health
All of our treatments start from a place of getting to know you and your unique challenges. Depression may be one of the most common mental health concerns, but everyone experiences it differently. Additionally, you may have other mental or physical health challenges, or specific experiences that change the way depression affects you.
We are dedicated to working with each of our patients as a person, not a diagnosis. This is what enables Dr. Sehdev to develop treatment plans with a high rate of success because they are tailored to your needs using methods and techniques such as:
- Depression Medications – Medication for depression can address the physical and emotional symptoms. Dr. Sehdev may prescribe these during the seasons you experience depression, or advise that you take them year round to keep your mood stable.
- Talk Therapy for Depression – Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, can help you talk through feelings of depression and establish coping mechanisms when you feel an onset of symptoms. Certain therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have also been adapted for SAD to alter the behaviors and thoughts that can lead to depression.
- Other Treatment Options – For those whose seasonal affective disorder is made worse by a lack of sunlight, light therapy uses a special light box to simulate sun exposure. We can also recommend other solutions or lifestyle modifications to help you get the sunlight or other depression resources you need.
Regardless of whether you have been dealing with SAD for years, or have only recently started noticing depression at certain times of the year, Dr. Sehdev will take the time to understand your struggles and work with you to build a personalized treatment plan to help keep your mood at its best all year long.
Get more information about seasonal depression therapy in Dallas or make an appointment with Dr. Sehdev. Our meetings are done virtually through telehealth, making it convenient to meet with a Dallas psychiatrist wherever you are located in Fort Worth, Grapevine, Bedford, and more. Use the contact form to get in touch, or call us at 888-677-4562.