When a Blue Mood Becomes SAD
Now that the holiday season is over and the time for friends and family and togetherness has slowed, we could be feeling more alone than ever. It is important to be honest with ourselves about how we are feeling and what could be contributing to our mood. If you’re anything like me sometimes my mood reflects the weather. If it is a beautiful, sunny, just-warm-enough spring day I notice a slight spring in my step or a bigger than usual smile on my face. However, on days where it seems like it has rained for two weeks straight, or it is cold and cloudy, my mood becomes a little gloomier. I may have more of a desire to stay inside, eat junk food, and maybe skip the gym. Usually my mood doesn’t impact my obligations (for example, I wouldn’t skip work because of my gloomy mood), but for some people it can and it does. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is characterized by depressive symptoms that occur during a specific time of the year, usually in the colder months. SAD is not its own specific diagnosis in the DSM-V; rather it is the seasonal pattern specifier to the mood disorders. However, most people are familiar with SAD and what it means. If it is hard for you to bounce back from a blue mood or you’ve noticed a pattern to this depressed feeling over the last few years, it may be time to talk to a mental health professional about what you’re going through. The licensed counselors at Behavioral Sciences of Alabama can help you determine if your blue mood is more than that and give you strategies to help you learn how to cope with your feelings in an effective and appropriate way. You don’t have to feel alone anymore we are here to help.
Maggie Futch, Intern