Winter to Spring: Causes of Seasonal Depression
Spring has sprung, but your mood may not be matching the blooming flowers and lighter days.
Seasonal depression, best known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), often occurs during the start of winter. However, an estimated 10% of people with SAD experience symptoms of seasonal depression during transitions into warmer weather. Believe it or not, the beginning of spring can bring on feelings of loneliness, sadness, and depression. Here are some of the many reasons why this occurs:
While there are some people who welcome and embrace change, many of us fear any shift in our normal routines. Any change, whether negative or positive, can bring about feelings of anxiousness or anxiety. Many people often find that changing weather patterns and longer days from daylight savings can result in a difficult adjustment period - altering their moods, changing their sleep patterns, and creating an overall feeling of imbalance.
During the start of winter, a lack of sunlight alters the brain levels of certain mood-controlling chemicals like melatonin, potentially causing changes in personality and behavior. In the spring, the reverse effect takes place but can still result in depression, as the brain is readjusting to a new circadian rhythm. Warmer weather and longer days can create feelings of melancholy as eating and sleeping schedules shift.
Known as the season of rebirth, many of us create our most meaningful memories in the spring, celebrating engagements, weddings, graduations, and other major milestones. However, with these memories can often come sentimental feelings of nostalgia, regret, or even sadness in the event of losing a loved one or simply reflecting on happier times. The spring months can often evoke sentimental feelings, leaving many people longing for the past and struggling to move forward.
Don’t suffer alone!
There are many signs of seasonal depression, including loneliness, irritability, fatigue, increased appetite, and difficulty concentrating, among many others. If seasonal depression hits, consider seeking the support of a professional counselor who can give you tools and guidance to effectively cope with the change of seasons.
Are you seeking a licensed counselor in San Antonio, Texas? Get in touch today with Joseph Montaldi, LCSW, and schedule your free consultation.