Depressed? It May Be the Time Change

 

A Danish study in 2016 found that depression diagnoses go up significantly (8 percent) in the month following the change from Daylight Savings Time back to standard time.

Since we've just changed over to standard time this month, let’s be on the lookout for signs of depression. Better yet, let’s be proactive in fighting it back.

The Danish researchers suggest the increase is tied to the loss of sunshine in the time when we really notice: The few hours at the end of the day, right when we’re getting off work and hoping to enjoy some free time. It also marks the coming of a long string of dark, cold days (especially in Denmark).

The article announcing the study begins with this disheartening quote by not-helpful Danish poet Henrik Nordbrant:

The year has 16 months: November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, November, November, November.

I’d like to counter with this verse by poet Alexander L. Fraser:

Fear not November’s challenge bold—
We’ve books and friends,
And hearths that never can grow cold:
These make amends!

So here’s what you can do: Dust off your favorite books, call your friends, light your fire. In other words, make plans! Do things you love. Go out and serve others (I recommend this website for finding opportunities). Take an ice skating or art class. Bundle up and go for a walk in the sunshine when you can.

If you’re feeling depressed, there are many things you can do. Medication and therapy can be a big part of that.  With work and help, November can turn out to be a good month after all.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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