What to watch out for and what to do
So, what should you look out for this fall? What kinds of changes are a tell tale sign of depression? Some symptoms that are extremely common when one is in a depressive phase are a lack of energy, increased appetite and over eating (especially unhealthy foods), a lack of pleasure derived from activities that usually produce pleasure, over sleeping, feeling numb or "dead inside", changes in cognition such as a lack of focus, and more. If you are experiencing these symptoms do not immediately fret and scour the web for possible disorders as this will only lead to more duress and incorrect self diagnoses.
Your best bet is seeking out a professional meaning a general practitioner or licensed psychiatrist. Schedule an appointment and express to them exactly what you are feeling. Depression is a serious illness and can take a toll on your quality of life. You absolutely need outside help if you are experiencing a clinical form of this illness.
It's important to note that just because you are experiencing depression and SAD it doesn't mean that you must take medication. Medication can do wonders for you if you find the right anti-depressant but for some it does very little or only offers unpleasant side effects. Your doctor may suggest that you instead see a therapist and undergo cognitive behavioral therapy and try an exercise program before resorting to medications.
There is also another alternative solution for SAD that even your doctor might approve of known as SAD lights. These lights aim to compensate for the lack of sunlight one gets during the fall and winter months. You sit under the light for a few minutes every day and gradually, if all goes well, you will begin to feel a lift in your moods.
The fight is worth it!
Photo Credit: Stephane Venne