Depression in Springtime what to watch out for, and how you can help yourself.Arfaq Hussain
Not everyone is cheered by the arrival of spring. While tradition dictates that the arrival of spring heralds a new lease of life and energy for the world around us, for those of us suffering from depression the effect can be worsened by the arrival of Spring.
- Change: Change can bring about anxiety and depression very depression, and the changing of the season is a known trigger. That’s especially the case for the sensitive folks among us who are easily prone to anxiety and depression. A new season requires an element of adjustment, and adjustment isn’t always easy.
- Hormones: Just as the lack of sunlight may alter brain levels of certain mood-controlling chemicals — such as the hormone melatonin — the same moody chemicals and their messengers get confused when the light comes out in the spring. Ten percent of people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experience symptoms in reverse: Once the weather turns warm, they grow melancholy. Any shift in our circadian rhythm (a 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, eat, work) can produce feelings of anxiety.
- Memories: “Mixing memory and desire,” as TS Eliot writes, can be a hazardous activity. We do change how we live annually in April because the spring months hold so many milestones, like longer days; plus there are the inevitable events like birthdays and weddings. We look back with nostalgia, or regret, or perhaps with anxiety over yet unfulfilled dreams and desires.
- Allergies and toxins: Make sure you’re taking anti-histamines even if you don’t think you suffer from Hayfever – you’ll be amazed at the difference to your overall mood and mental health.
Different kinds of allergies can badly affect your mood. If you are sensitive to environmental toxins — and the majority of us are — you may very well have a harder time in the spring because the blowing winds and warmer temperatures can kick up a ton of irritants that, in turn, cause inflammation in your brain and an increase in bad moods.
Depression is an extremely common – one in five people become depressed at some point – and serious medical illness that negatively affects every aspect of your life: including how you think, feel, act, sleep and eat. The average age for the first onset of major depression is 25-29 years old, but it is sadly becoming increasingly common in children and teenagers too. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain today.
It’s a specific type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons – people suffering from SAD find it begins and ends at the same times every year. It’s most commonly a Winter condition caused by shorter days, less sunlight and in consequence less Vitamin D entering our systems.
Yes, absolutely. It’s proven that increasing your Vitamin D, Magnesium and Vitamin K will all help better manage and even alleviate the symptoms of depression. They’ll all act to increase and improve your energy levels, leading you to have greater confidence and greater vitality which in turn will lessen the worst of the depression symptoms. So if you’re feeling less like a gambling lamb and more like a sleeping sloth, and if the changing of the season doesn’t seem to be relieving the symptoms much, try an increase in vitamins and anti-histamines to give your immune system a little helping hand.