Member Article

Local Mental Health Organisation Offers Advice on Combating Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

An NHS talking therapies provider in Nottinghamshire, Insight IAPT, is sharing advice on how to ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as they expect a spike in cases of the condition ahead of the clocks going back and the days getting shorter.

SAD, also known as ‘winter depression’, is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern and is often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. Symptoms include a persistent low mood, a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, irritability, feeling lethargic, and sleeping for longer than normal.

Statistics from the past eight years show that Insight IAPT sees a seasonal spike in referrals into its service in October. Insight IAPT is asking people to be mindful of their mood as the nights draw in, and if they feel low or depressed, to get help from their GP or a mental health services provider.

The talking therapies provider, which offers NHS-funded mental health support across Nottinghamshire, will be sharing advice and tips on how to manage low mood on its social media channels and website throughout winter.

There are several ways that people can combat the symptoms of SAD, including:

  • Getting as much sunlight as possible

  • Exercising regularly, which helps to reduce stress levels and provides an opportunity to socialise outside

  • Making time for the things you enjoy

  • Reducing screen time

  • Getting enough sleep

Martha Highton, Community Engagement Manager at Insight IAPT said: “At this time of year, as winter draws nearer, we see an increase in people accessing our service for support with their mental health.

“We’re encouraging everyone to recognise dips in their mood and try to combat those symptoms. If the symptoms are persistent, our free help is available. We want to make sure that your mental health remains the top priority.”

It is estimated that 1.3 million people in the UK could suffer from SAD and most people start to get symptoms for the first time in their 20s and 30s, with many conditions being left untreated or unacknowledged.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by John Rodgers .

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