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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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SAD but maybe not? - April 12th 2014, 04:11 PM

So for the longest time I've always felt more depressed between the months of October and February. I mentioned this to my doctor and my counsellor and they both mentioned that it's probably SAD but nothing else really happened as far as diagnosing it and treatment.

However, this year it seems not to have happened. At least not in the same way. I still felt more depressed around October/November time (so basically when autumn/fall was changing into winter) but then December, January and February I felt less depressed than usual. For the past month or so though I've been feeling really depressed again during the change from winter to spring.

So what I'm wondering is if it's possible to have a type of seasonal affective disorder that occurs during the time when the seasons change rather than it just being limited to one season?

It's just bothering me because I've begun to expect my depression to be worse around winter so I managed to prepare for it a bit better but now that it's suddenly changed I feel a bit lost and if it happens during every change of season then it's going to get really hard to deal with.
   
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Re: SAD but maybe not? - April 14th 2014, 12:46 AM

This article says that it is only during the winter months.
However, depression can fluctuate a lot. My old therapist once told me depression takes about 8 months to get better. It could be that your depression is just fluctuating a bit and that's why it didn't occur during the winter months?
You could try getting one of those special lamps for SAD and see if it helps you?


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Re: SAD but maybe not? - April 14th 2014, 01:23 AM

Hey there,

In regards to being diagnosed with SAD, your doctor may not have given you a proper diagnosis because it can be a challenging and long-term process.

This is a quote taken from an article about seasonal affective disorder from the Canadian Mental Health Association website:

Quote:
Generally, symptoms that recur for at least 2 consecutive winters, without any other explanation for the changes in mood and behaviour, indicate the presence of SAD.
So like it states, you probably would have to bring it up with your doctor each year it occurred, and then they may have to start to really look into if the seasons were actually the sole cause of your depression.

There is also a summer depression which can occur late spring/early summertime, however it is a very rare.

I also find myself having a more difficult time during the late fall months/early spring time. I'm not sure if this is something that might affect you, however I find that daylight savings time (turning the clocks an hour ahead in the spring, and an hour back an hour in the fall) always throws me off and I find it really difficult to adapt to. This always affects my mood in a negative way, but after a certain amount of time passes, things become easier to handle again.

Anyways, it is recommended to try and get as much natural light as you can, exercise, maintain a proper diet, get enough sleep, etc. to help with SAD. Light boxes can also be used as a treatment, although I believe it's something you'd want to talk to your doctor about first.

Hopefully this information helps a bit. I would continue to bring it up with the doctor again and see what they say. Even if they don't diagnose you with SAD, the information may be helpful in treating your depression.

Take care. :]


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April 14th 2014, 05:37 PM

I agree with what was said previously ab SAD. I know I feel rather depressed during winter (well all the time really) but my depressed mood occurs mainly in fall/winter/early spring.
Definitely talk to your doctor about this and see what they say you should do.
I also agree that depression does fluctuate, I know for me, I feel more depressed at certain times than I do at others.
Also, getting enough natural light is a good idea along with making sure you are hydrated, eating enough foods that contain nutrients and sleeping properly (not staying up to late as an example).
I hope this is helpful and that you can get help for your depression.
   
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Re: SAD but maybe not? - April 18th 2014, 08:01 PM

Cara, preparing for it is the worse thing you could do, in my opinion. If you have it narrowed down to seasonal depression, then find things that will bring your mood up. You have six months until October and the summer holidays are coming up. I suggest you try brainstorming (by yourself, with your boyfriend, or with a doctor) ideas that you could happen upon in those brutal autumn/winter months. Don't prepare, but just be aware of that list.

A lot of people get that, and they're all "I'm so depressed!" Nuh. It's seasonal depression. I think it's just the idea of holidays coming up and we just want to be a bit selfish and spoilt like we were as children.
   
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Re: SAD but maybe not? - April 19th 2014, 02:38 PM

I didn't mean prepare as in I sit and mope about it

I mean I get things sorted such as telling the university that my depression and anxiety are worse in winter so if I miss classes then they know that's why so are more lenient and I sometimes need to ask for coursework extensions due to it and I make sure that during the worst of it I'm spending more time with my boyfriend to make sure I don't do something I'll regret.

It's also not really got anything to do with the holidays either being as it usually starts in October and carries on until February.

I think the Daylights Savings Time sounds like a reasonable idea of what could be happening since it is around both of the clock changes that it happens.

I might speak to my doctor again but I can't get light boxes on the NHS and it can cost up to 100 for a decent approved one and I can't really afford that right now. Not sure what else the doctor could do since I don't really want to be on meds for only half of the year due to the horrid side effects you get when you start them and the withdrawal effects.
   
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