The topic we’re focusing on today is Seasonal Affective Disorder, but we should be clear: we’re not just discussing therapy for those with that diagnosis. We want to offer VT therapy options for anyone who finds fall and winter a difficult time. Yes, there is a diagnosed disorder related to the change in seasons and daylight, but we are talking more broadly about the causes and potential therapeutic options for those living in the Upper Valley who find this time of year difficult.
To begin, we should acknowledge that daylight and temperature are real factors when we think about mental health. This is especially true for depression. It’s easy to take a walk or go visit a friend when it’s 70 degrees and sunny, but that is more difficult when it’s 40 degrees outside and there has been cloud cover for a week. It may seem a little naive to say, but noticing how the weather affects you is an early step to keeping track of mental health and choosing a therapy that works for you.
Light-based treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder have gained a lot of notoriety over the past decade. If you struggle with depression in the winter months you may jump to the conclusion that you have this disorder and should begin light therapy to correct it. Those assumptions might be accurate, but we should note there is always risk in self-diagnosis. Perhaps you don’t have that disorder and maybe light therapy will have little effect.
As you learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder (and similar conditions) you might want to try a VT therapy option that is talk-based. Through years of experience as therapists, we have found that many diagnosable conditions (like Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression) can be treated in talk therapy even if other treatments are also called for (medication or light therapy are examples).
Fewer hours of light and cold temperatures may lead to depression, but there could be other causes, such as :
Work is Hard to Find in Winter
Budgets Get Tight Due to Holiday Spending
Being Indoors More Can Lead to Conflict
These are just examples of course, but you can see how daylight and temperature may not be the only factors leading to Seasonal Affective Disorder or symptoms similar to that diagnosis.
If you or those around you feel as though your mood and behavior dip a little in the winter months, maybe it’s time to explore your VT therapy options including talk therapy. If you’d like to hear more about how the process works, get in touch. We’re ready to schedule a consultation to discuss the possibilities.