Seasonal depression, causes & treatment

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Curious fact: Symptoms of seasonal depression will depend on the season it appears.

Few seasons of the year show such a remarkable duality as winter. While for some people it may mean the most amazing time of the year, for many others it is a sad season that can lead to anxiety and other negative feelings. This is a phenomenon called seasonal depression, which can occur at any season of the year, however, it is most prevalent in late fall.

What causes seasonal depression?

There are several factors that can cause seasonal depression. The first of these is biological clock changes, as many countries adopt changes in time with less natural light, which has been shown to have a high impact on people’s mood, because it regulates serotonin levels. Similarly, this also affects your sleep schedule, making you feel less energetic during the day.
Another factor that plays an important role is the balance of brain chemicals, also known as neurotransmitters, that make you feel better. This means that having mental disorders can make you more prone to seasonal depression.
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Finally, a situation that usually generates anxiety, stress, and sadness during winter are different types of family relationships. Since it is a season when most people are reunited with their loved ones, those with deceased relatives, or distant relationships, tend to have negative thoughts.

How to recognize seasonal depression 

It is important to remember that seasonal depression is a mental disorder, and therefore, it can mean great risks for those who suffer from it, demonstrating the importance of knowing how to recognize it in order to be able to treat it. Pay attention to the symptoms that make up the following list:
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Depressive episodes that occur with greater incidence at certain times of the year
  • Depressive episodes that occur in a specific season for at least two consecutive years.
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Problems concentrating and sleeping.
  • Loss of hope
  • Episodes of violent behavior
  • Among others
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We want to stress that it is essential that we treat seasonal depression with the same importance as other mental disorders. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it’s a good idea to see a specialist who will help you with a diagnosis and treatment, as seasonal depression may even be the tip of the iceberg of a more complex mental disorder.

Risk Factors

While it is important to know the symptoms of seasonal depression, it is also important to know that there are certain factors that make us more likely to have it, such as:
  • Having other disorders, such as, depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Having a family history of members who have suffered from seasonal depression, or other mental disorders.
  • Living in countries further away from the equator, which receive less natural light in winter.
  • Living in cloudy regions with little sunshine.


The good news is, like other mental disorders, seasonal depression can be treated, ensuring that those who suffer from it can maintain a good standard of living.
The most common treatment is cognitive therapy, in which the patient can talk to a mental health specialist. This treatment has been shown to be the most effective and with the greatest effects for patients with seasonal depression.
Similarly, the patient may receive antidepressants, usually in conjunction with cognitive therapy, because medications may complement it.
Finally, other methods that are used are, light therapy, spending more time away from home and in natural light, and finally, supplements with vitamin D.

Real story

Josh Fenn is an American content creator, who moved to Oregon in 2016, where winters have very little daylight, and since he arrived in Portland, he has noticed that every winter he experiences negative feelings and sadness. Fortunately, Josh has learned to manage his seasonal depression: the most important pillars are exercise, spending time outdoors and enjoying the sun, using artificial light to simulate natural light, setting up routines to keep himself busy, practicing meditation and mindfulness, having good sleep schedules, and finally going to therapy with a mental health specialist. From Josh’s point of view, these actions work as prevention, but also in case you get seasonal depression.
Listen to Josh’s story here:

Health insurance

It is well known that taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of the body. Therefore, in BYBS we want to help you have a healthy mind and live your life to the fullest. Take care of your mind and body while we look after your integrity, finding and building coverages that best suit you.
For more information visit our website, where you will find the different coverages we offer. We have guaranteed approval coverage, which allows you to enroll regardless of your health status, or for those who do not qualify for public health insurance. ( #CallBlanca (202) 316-4503


Seasonal changes bring major changes, and it is normal for this to affect the mental health of some people – in fact, 5% of the population in the United States suffers seasonal depression. Given this statistic, and the arrival of winter, it is important to remember how important it is to pay attention to your mental health, as it can affect all the other factors in your life.
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