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Major Depression vs. Seasonal Depression

It is important to understand the difference between major depressive disorder and seasonal depression. Major depressive disorder occurs when one has experienced diminished interest/pleasure or depressed mood for a 2 week time period. This can include feeling depressed most of the day and nearly every day, loss of interest in activities most of the day and nearly every day, weight loss/weight gain, insomnia/hypersomnia, fatigued nearly every day, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, inability to concentrate, and suicidal ideations. Seasonal depression is similar to that of major depressive disorder in the sense that the characteristics stated above are in effect but there’s a relationship between the onset of the depressive episodes and the timeframe of when they occur. Seasonal depression occurs at a specific time of year, typically fall or winter. An individual will be diagnosed with seasonal depression if the number of depressive episodes they experience occurs within that specific timeframe yearly.

  • Implement new activities that increase a sense of satisfaction, reinforce a positive self identity, and is consistent with one’s values
  • Increase communication with friends and family to reduce sense of isolation
  • Decrease the frequency of negative self talk that reinforces low self-esteem and increase the frequency of self-descriptive statements and positive traits/talents.
  • Form realistic and attainable goals for self to gain a sense of achievement.
  • Take responsibility for accomplishments.
  • Get active to create endorphins.
  • Insert self in the sunlight as much as possible to gain Vitamin D.
  • Execute light therapy especially on cloudy days.
  • Maintain regular sleeping patterns.