CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - We have turned back the clocks and with that comes the late afternoon darkness that can wreak havoc with our moods, and ultimately, our relationships with family, friends and co-workers.
Scott Bea a psychologist with the Cleveland Clinic says if we start to feel anxiety during the change of seasons it can be a sign of impending seasonal depression.
“This is sometimes a way that you can tell whether you’re wrestling with seasonal depression, is your anticipation of the change of seasons; people start to notice the days are getting shorter, it’s getting darker,” Bea said.
For some this is simply a case of the winter blues, something we are used to dealing with and we handle with minimal disruption to our daily lives.
However, some Northeast Ohioans suffer from a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it can lead to serious issues that have a real effect on people’s lives.
“So the person is actually missing appointments, not able to get to things, avoiding people, procrastinating and this has an impact on their job, their relationships, they drink more, they’re fighting more with family members,” Dr. Varna said.
Some people opt for light therapy, others choose medication or supplements and some even require therapy.
Bea says a contributing factor is a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of socialization, and she recommends making plans to socialize and exercise.
“It takes a little time to create habits, but setting up those social opportunities or a new obligation that’s going to put you in contact with people would be great,” Bea says.
If you find yourself really struggling with seasonal depression Bea suggests you reach out to a medical professional.