So many of the symptoms of SAD and depression overlap – SAD is just seasonal depression, after all – because why is it so important to understand what is what? According to Dr. Mennesson, the knowledge of the difference between depression and SAD allows the person who is suffering to discover what kind of treatment or interventions they need. "While some interventions can help both, some are less important: for example, light therapy is particularly effective for SAD, and medication may not be as effective for SAD as for regular depression" . In other words, to avoid unnecessary medication or treatments that will not work, you need to know what the main cause of your depression really is. More importantly, this is not necessarily self-diagnosis. Your doctor can help you tell the difference and create a treatment plan tailored to you.
That being said, there is a treatment path that is sure to improve your mental health – and this is a practice of caution. "Whether SAD or depression, the development of practical attention is shown to reduce symptoms and mood swings by shifting the mind and body into a parasympathetic (" resting and digesting "). explained Dr. Mennesson, who is himself an avid yogi and the meditator himself.
So what is the house? Neither SAD nor depression is a condition that you need to feel like you need to handle yourself. Get to a doctor, friend or therapist or counselor and make sure you get the support you need – whether you need it all the time or only during the winter months.