Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder, is a form of depression that occurs at a similar time every year. It typically comes during the winter and fall seasons, which is why it is important to be aware of correlated mental health conditions as winter rages on.
Estimates show that roughly 5% of individuals in the United States are affected by seasonal depression, with data from U Health also showing that about 14% of adults in the country are impacted by milder versions of seasonal depression as well as other mood disorders.
Chief of the Adult Psychiatry Division at the University of Utah Jason Hunziker stated that a number of theories exist about why seasonal depression occurs, with the most common one being that when the days are shorter, we experience more darkness, which tends to depress people more. Hunziker explained that it is believed that this was associated with changes in the amount of light individuals received, noting that as days get shorter, the chemicals produced in the brain to keep people moving forward and happy aren’t produced as easily. Hunziker noted that many people ignore early signs of depression and, given the stigma, find it hard to talk about it.
Various symptoms are associated with seasonal depression, the most common ones being a loss of interest or pleasure in things an individual usually enjoys, and a low mood. Other symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include craving unhealthy foods, having difficulty concentrating and feeling sluggish, among others.
College students need to be particularly conscious of seasonal depression during winter and fall. The director of the University Counseling Center, Lauren Weitzman, noted that the transition from daylight savings is often taxing, especially for students in college, because it overlaps with finals, which are an already challenging part of the semester.
A common issue among students in college is being too busy and not having enough time to address their struggles with mental health. The primary age group for depression and seasonal affective disorder is 18 to 35 years old.
In comparison with other forms of depression, treatments for seasonal depression are unique. These treatments include light therapy, which exposes people to bright light as soon as they wake up. Other things individuals with seasonal depression can do to manage their symptoms include avoiding intake of or limit alcohol intake, eating healthier foods, seeking more face-to-face social interactions, exercising and spending at least two hours a week outside getting sunlight.
Additional good news is that for-profit companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) have been hard at work seeking novel treatments from psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin. These formulations promise to offer better clinical outcomes to mental health condition patients who haven’t seen much success with conventional drugs.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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