Different times of the year may trigger different reactions within us. Some may find that the summer months are particularly difficult, especially for those who feel highly fatigued because of the heat, or who perhaps tend to feel ill when needing to spend periods of time in the sun. For others, it is the change of weather from one season to the next, for instance, those of us who tend to feel unwell or perhaps struggle with allergies during these months. In this blog I wished to focus on writing about Winter Blues.
Winter Blues is not a medical diagnosis. It is a general term that is used to refer to feelings of sadness, a decrease in motivation and low energy levels during the winter months. The reasons why people’s mood may be impacted by the Winter Season can vary. For instance, since during the winter season the sun rises later and sets earlier, some may experience a change in mood when repeatedly traveling to and from work while it is dark. This may mean that in some situations, people would have not been outside in daylight for some days in a row. While this may not impact everyone, it is also not uncommon for this to have an impact on a person’s mood. Another reason why winter may impact someone’s wellbeing could also be related to what the holiday period means to them. While the holiday period is generally associated with excitement or celebration, for others, the holiday period may be a time where they may feel more lonely, or perhaps become more in touch with the experience of grief for the loss of a loved one.
Winter Blues is not to be confused with Seasonal Affective Disorder (Commonly known as S.A.D.) or Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. This confusion may be because of some similarities; for instance, in Seasonal Affective Disorder, the symptoms also usually occur during specific seasons such as during the winter months, when there is less sunlight and these symptoms usually also improve as spring approaches. One main difference is the extent to which the changes that are experienced are impacting someone’s life and ability to function in their day to day lives. In such situations, it is advisable to speak to a medical professional who could provide you with guidance and options that could support you during these difficult experiences.
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Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817