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Issue 17 Out Now

You vs. Seasonal Depression

“The happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts”.

Black people have a common misconception of recognizing their mental health struggles. Abnormal behaviors that come from a sort of trauma, environmental factors and hereditary influences. Why are moods and energies shifted around similar times every year? It’s called seasonal depression and it’s more frequent than we think.

Depression looks like withdrawing from close ones, lack of motivation, fatigue, irritability and in some cases more severe symptoms. Anxiety is a different beast. It comes from excessive worrying and can make you irritable, lose sleep, feel on edge and feels like your heart is beating a thousand times per minute. They can be simultaneously linked and both can be moderate or severe, however knowing yourself and your normal, natural healthy element will help you decipher if you’re experiencing seasonal depression and how to not let it control you.

When does seasonal depression happen?

Seasonal depression is a recurrent season of depression that is either caused by the changing of seasons or a period of time a traumatic event. The decreased amount of daylight, cold seasons, and holidays contribute to the feelings of depression. A traumatic event such as a loved one dying around a particular date, unconsciously the person affected mood will change. Can you relate or know someone that can?

First, understanding depression does not discriminate. It happens to any and everyone, but for some it may be more severe than others. You need to recognize and accept that you have problems with depression. Ignoring these issues will prompt them to get worse and they can become very severe. Once you can’t control your emotions and thoughts, symptoms can become more severe. Depression isn’t sudden, they sneak up on you like you’re prey. So act and know how to react against depression.

Before your seasonal depression comes you need to prepare yourself. Try to plan things ahead of this time, like finishing assignments early so you won’t feel so pressured, scheduling extra self care time around this season, etc. Let your main focus be keeping your peace and diffusing any outlying factors that could be affecting your mental sanity. The overall goal is to keep your self balanced.

Tell your support team. It may sound cheesy but I promise it helps. Notifying the people in your life that you have depression around particular times will help them keep you on the right track. Tell them how you usually feel around this time and that you need all the love and support you can get. If you feel like you’re needing more support, I strongly suggest seeing a counselor or therapist. You probably need more intensive care for your depression and that’s completely fine, oftentimes we need more help than we can give ourselves.

Dedicate more time to self care time around this season. Around this season it’s a little harder to get up and go do something to make us feel good. Nobody wants to go outside when it’s gloomy and freezing. Try making more time to see loved ones; go see family, plan indoor activities with friends, plan fun getaway trips, look up indoor activities in your city etc. Avoid too much time by yourself and force yourself to seek social satisfaction. Find outlets for stress and healthy coping mechanisms. Create time for exposure in the sun and bright warm lights. Create a go-to activity to do that uplifts your spirits. Try to do them on a more frequent schedule than normal. What makes you feel good? When do you feel your best?

To our readers that can relate to anxiety and depression We want you to know that you are the conqueror of your life. You don’t always control what happens but you control the outcome. Your mental health is just as important as your physical and you should treat it as such. Don’t ignore signs, don’t be embarrassed or in denial. Don’t mask your problems with unhealthy coping mechanisms. Conquer every season!

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