What Month Is Depression Highest?

What Month Is Depression Highest

Studies show that as daylight decreases, beginning in the fall, and throughout winter, people experience higher emotions of depression and anxiety. 

The studies show that depression peaks in January. 

While December falls within the winter months, which are the most miserable months of the year, studies show that people suffering with depression are least depressed during this time. This is because of the holiday-induced euphoria. 

On a daily level, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day are all among the year’s least miserable days.

As the days become longer and the temperatures rise in Spring, you would expect people to become happier and less sad. 

Unfortunately, according to Google searches, depression peaks in March, with a random Wednesday in April appearing to be the most miserable day of the year.

According to researchers, the increasing daylight disrupts people’s chemical regulation systems. People also have imbalances in serotonin and melatonin that are affected by day length.

The good news is that even if you are suffering from depression, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate the condition. These things include:

Reduce your carbohydrate intake.

It’s a challenge to eat healthy in the winter. During this time, most people eat more carbs, which only weighs them down. 

Carbohydrate cravings can be a hallmark of more severe seasonal affective disorder. Yet, many of the comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, lasagna, chicken and dumplings — are all high in carbs.

Carbohydrates appeal to the brain pleasure senses. Unfortunately, they can cause you to slow down and feel lethargic. And you don’t want this. 

To be on the safe side, reduce the carbohydrates in your diet and instead include more organic fruits and vegetables.

You can boil winter greens or use frozen fruits to make a post-workout smoothie.

If you have to eat out, find restaurants with healthy menus.

Talk to a professional

If you have a doctor that you regularly visit, this is the time to see them. If you have never visited one, you should find one.

When you see a doctor, they will help you know the source of the depression and even diagnose your condition and tell you the type of depression that you are suffering from.

The doctor will also advise you on whether you should take medications or not.

To get the most from your doctor, ensure they are from a reputable institution such as Sabino Recovery. You can visit https://www.sabinorecovery.com/best-depression-treatment-center/ for more information.

Engage in social activities.

Social activities have been shown to be highly effective at alleviating depression. Studies show a direct link between social isolation and depression.

According to researchers, prolonged periods of seclusion can have long-term psychological effects on people, including symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This means that if you want to alleviate depression, you should engage in social activities. You should find ways to stay connected with others. 

If the winter darkness or weather forces you to stay home more than you’d like, there are alternatives to in-person contact for socializing.

For example, you can FaceTime with friends and extended family members or set up Zoom calls with them.

You can even invite someone to come and live with you.

Get active

Not surprisingly, exercise is an excellent antidote to the winter blues. Unfortunately, getting inspired to put on your running shoes can be difficult when it’s chilly outside.

Thankfully, even a short brisk walk outside helps — or grab some cross-country skis. Even going to a gym is better than nothing at all.

If even that is a challenge, ask a friend to join you or remind you why it is so vital.

When you exercise, you have the good feel chemicals which come in handy to help you fight depression and anxiety.

Invite more light into your life.

According to a 2017 study, exposure to light can assist in keeping one’s circadian rhythm on track and it’s one of the first-line treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

There are plenty of ways to invite more light into your life. Turn on a few more lights in your office, raise the blinds if you have a window, and try to get outside during the middle of the day while the sun is out.

This is especially important if it’s dark when you arrive and when you leave.

If you can’t do this, take a vitamin D supplement with 1,000 IU. In addition to providing the health benefits that you are losing due to a lack of sunlight, there is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression, which means that by taking the supplements, you will be hitting two birds with one stone.

You can also use light boxes to bring in more light. Also known as phototherapy boxes, these boxes emit light that resembles sunlight and can help with the treatment of depression.

The light from the therapy boxes is substantially brighter than conventional light bulbs and comes in a variety of wavelengths.

You should sit in front of the light box for 20 to 30 minutes each day. By doing this, you will cause a chemical change in your brain, which improves your mood and reduces depression symptoms.

For the best outcome, use the light box within the first hour of waking up in the morning.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate light therapy boxes, despite the fact that they are often safe and effective. Due to this, always consult with your doctor to determine whether a light therapy box is appropriate for you.

Parting shot

As you have seen, the low-temperature seasons are the worst when it comes to depression. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to make the situation better.

During this time, you should avoid making life-changing decisions. Don’t decide on changing your job, where you reside, or a relationship issue. Always take time to think about it.

This is because your problem-solving may not be as clear as it normally is. A good way to go about it is to wait a month to see if you still feel the same way before making any substantial life adjustments.

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