Montana's long winters can wreak havoc on your mental health. Cabin fever is fairly common during the winter, and many residents suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you're feeling down in the dumps, you're not alone. Seasonal depression is very common in Montana during the winter.

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What is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. Symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. SAD can make you feel tired and sluggish. It can also result in mood swings.

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What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Depression?

Symptoms of seasonal depression include;

  • Constantly in a bad mood
  • A lack of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • Easily irritated
  • Feelings of despair, guilt, and worthlessness
  • Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and constantly oversleeping
  • Have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Craving carbs and gaining weight
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased sex drive

If you've been dealing with any of the symptoms listed above, there's a good chance that you're suffering from seasonal depression.

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What are the Best Treatments for Seasonal Depression?

  • Get Outside: Being indoors for extended amounts of time can make you start to feel trapped. Bundle up and head outside to try to soak in as much natural sunlight as possible.
  • Exercise: Exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety. Both are known to increase SAD symptoms.
  • Light Therapy: If you're unable to soak in natural sunlight, light therapy in another alternative. You sit a few feet from a special light box so that you're exposed to bright light within the first hour of waking up each day. Light therapy mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.
  • Take Vitamin D: Your body naturally gets vitamin D from sunlight, and during the winter in Montana, you may not be getting enough vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements is a great idea.

Feeling down is pretty normal in Montana during the winter, but if you feel down for days at a time and can't get motivated to do the stuff you normally enjoy, you should probably talk to your doctor.

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