If you been feeling distressed and overwhelmed with feelings of sadness as the seasons change, it may be more than just the winter blues. Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s Senior Life Solutions team wants to raise awareness of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
“Many of us have days that we don’t feel like ourselves and sometimes the winter months can enhance those feelings,” said Janet Brus, RN, program director for Senior Life Solutions at MRHC. “Be aware of how you are feeling. If you normally get up and perform your normal daily activities and now find yourself staying in bed longer, not getting dressed, or avoiding activities that normally bring you pleasure, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder.”
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression typically triggered during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight. According to the American Psychiatric Association, those with SAD experience mood changes and symptoms similar to depression. Common symptoms include low mood and energy, fatigue, sleep difficulty or excessive sleep, loss of interest, little motivation, and weight gain resulting from overeating and carb cravings.
“To help boost your mood, try participating in activities that will keep your mind active such as taking a walk, reading, and staying healthy and hydrated,” advised Brus. “It is important to be kind to yourself, as sadness touches all of our lives at some point. However, depression can cause significant problems if not addressed in a timely fashion.”
If you are struggling with depression or feel that you are showing persistent symptoms of SAD and it is affecting your daily functioning, Senior Life Solutions could help.
Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of senior adults living with symptoms of age-related depression or anxiety, dealing with difficult life transitions, a recent health diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one. The program staff include a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed therapist, a director and registered nurse, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the well-being of seniors.
The Senior Life Solutions area at MRHC was recently renovated and expanded to include a dedicated group therapy meeting room with state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities that allow for patients to join remotely. Dedicated offices were also created for the therapist and psychiatrist to meet one-on-one with patients.
“With our new space we are able to accommodate even more sessions. We care about your health and encourage you to ask for help if you are experiencing these symptoms,” said Brus.
If you or a loved one need support or want to learn more, call Senior Life Solutions at (712) 655-8262.