Some people start to feel a little blue when the winter season rolls around.
Experts share the leading causes of seasonal depression and that preventing it is as simple as stepping outside.
We’ve all had bad days and even really bad days, but many people don’t know when it turns into something else.
“They don’t realize when they’ve just passed from feeling a little down to actually having some symptoms of depression,” says nurse and attendee Gini McCracken.
“We’re talking about something much more debilitating, much more serious,” says Dr. Stephen Ilardi, professor at University of Kansas and author of the book ‘The Depression Cure,’ “it’s one of the leading causes of disabilities, one of the leading causes of premature death due to depression linked suicide.”
Ilardi says sometimes medication doesn’t do the trick.
“I don’t have a philosophical ax to grind, I’m not anti-medication, I’m anti depression,” says Ilardi, “But the meds really only help about one out of every two people that take them and that’s in the short term, in the long term the ratio is even lower.”
“I see clients prenatally and also post partum and they can’t take their medicines a lot for depression,” says McCracken.
The good news – Ilardi says simple lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can actually treat the illness.
“The depression epidemic is really an epidemic of lifestyle and as such there are several things that we can do to reclaim antidepressant ways of life,” Ilardi says.
In cases of seasonal depression, where lack of sunlight contributes immensely, simply stepping outside can make a difference. Ilardi says, however, there is a more enjoyable option.
“Travel to someplace warm and sunny,” he says. “So if anybody out there is looking for that excuse to take that vacation, to buy their loved one an all-inclusive paid trip to Acapulco or Hawaii, this is it.”
Ilardi says one in three people experience seasonal depression each year.