Specialist Clinical Psychologist Müjde Yahşi gave important information about Seasonal Depression. The type of Depression, which manifests itself with the onset of autumn months and can continue until March, is called Seasonal Depression. Seasonal Depression is experienced entirely due to a decrease in sunlight. The most basic feature of this disorder is that its symptoms are related to the season. The incidence of this disease in women is 4 times higher. This is due to the fact that women are more emotional and delicate, especially hormones. Postpartum depression and premenstrual depressive symptoms are examples of this hormonal change and sensitivity.
In some people, hormones work irregularly. In seasonal depression, hormones show sudden ups and downs. The Pineal Gland in our brain produces the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for sleep. This gland increases the production of hormones in dark environments, slows down the movements of the person, causes drowsiness, brings drowsiness and makes the person feel tired. In other words, no matter how long the person has slept, he or she cannot feel listened to and feels the need for sleep all the time. Since the nights are long and the days are short in winter and the sun does not show its face enough, the Pineal Gland secretes an intense amount of melatonin hormone. Therefore, the person shows signs of Seasonal Depression biochemically. In this context, we can say that the cure for seasonal depression is the sun.
We can explain the healing effect of the sun as follows; The light that enters through the retina of our eyes and is transmitted to the pineal gland through the nerves decreases the production of melatonin and increases the production of serotonin, which we know as the happiness hormone. Thus, the person feels good in a natural way, spiritually. The reason why we look at life with positive emotions in the summer, we feel restless, feel better, and fill us with a strange joy is actually the fact that the weather is sunny.
In addition, we can explain the effect of the seasons on our souls as follows; The cold weather in autumn and winter, the yellowing of the leaves, the wilting of the flowers, the drying of the plants, the covering of the sky with clouds, the falling of rain and snow evoke the death of nature in some people. In this case, it is possible that the negative change in nature will be reflected in the spiritual structure of the person.
It is out of the question for a healthy person to fall into Seasonal Depression. Because Depression is a hereditary disease, there is a gene transfer from previous generations in Seasonal Depression, which is a type of depression. Stress factors and biochemical changes in the body are effective in the emergence of this disease.
Its symptoms are the same as the symptoms we see in normal depression, the only difference is that it occurs during the transition of seasons. It shows symptoms such as the desire to do nothing, not enjoying life, hopelessness, pessimism, sleep and appetite disorders, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, loss of energy, weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, distraction, and difficulty in focusing.
To be protected from Seasonal Depression; Regular and brisk walking in the open air provides both benefiting from sunlight and mental well-being, and physical health is also preserved as the body moves. Regular sports activities such as fitness, pilates, cycling, playing basketball, swimming increase the release of endorphins. Endorphin is the happiness hormone produced while exercising. Getting education, training, producing and working voluntarily, that is, being useful, increases the release of dopamine, which is responsible for the sense of pleasure, and the person feels good with the pleasure of success. Preferring to live in sun-drenched south-facing houses prevents the formation of pessimistic feelings. It is necessary to stay away from movies, songs, events, environments and news that contain negative emotions such as violence, fear, sadness. Traveling a lot and seeing different places allows both to benefit from the sunlight and to be a natural therapy by traveling.
So what should be done if Seasonal Depression cannot be dealt with despite everything being done to protect it?
The bright light therapy technique, which we call phototherapy, should be used. Phototherapy is a form of treatment applied with fluorescent light with a broad spectrum to give bright sunlight. So we can think of it like the light emitted by the sun on a very bright spring day. The way of application is; The fluorescent light is kept one meter away from the patient for 2 – 4 hours a day and the patient is allowed to look at the light once a minute. This method of treatment responds quickly, but its effects fade quickly if discontinued.
Seasonal Depression should not be taken lightly. Just as there are rules and a form of treatment for physical diseases such as diabetes. So is Seasonal Depression. This too is a mental illness, and the cure is primarily sunlight.
In order to avoid seasonal depression, make it a priority to never neglect to go out in the sun and to love yourself.