Blaming Winter For Depression Can Be A Mistake

When winter weather brings sadness along with snow, many people blame their low mood on the chill, darkness, or cabin fever. While this makes sense for most of us — because we find our mood lifts when winter turns to spring — some find that their depression persists.

“Why aren’t I feeling better?” they may ask themselves. “The temperature is warmer, the sun is shining, nothing is keeping me from venturing outside.”

When that query occurs, those suffering are more likely to finally make an appointment with a mental health specialist, realizing that something is amiss because the “happier” season has not translated to a better mood for themselves.

Each year I find myself receiving an influx of new patients once the weather improves. While I’m gratified that these “spring sufferers” find their way to a therapist, I always wish they had done it sooner. Dark moods can’t always be blamed on the season, and doing so tragically prevents many people from seeking help early.

The reason I stress early intervention is because those of us who treat depression want to make certain the condition is not clinical depression rather than a “down” day.

Too often I see women with postpartum depression who avoided treatment because they thought their despondency was caused by the weather. Once they realize spring hasn’t brought relief, they finally seek treatment.

But, there is undisputed evidence that early intervention is the very best practice. The sooner women get help, the sooner they recover and gain the potential wonderful months with their new baby and family. Sadly, time lost struggling with depression can never be re-gained.

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~ by ppdsus on March 27, 2014.

3 Responses to “Blaming Winter For Depression Can Be A Mistake”

  1. Excellent article.

  2. Thanks Bee! Glad you found it helpful.

  3. Oh it’s you Brenda.. thanks. Hope to see you at PSI if you can come this year.
    Best,
    Susan

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