Finding the link between Daylight Savings Time and Depression.
For many people in the United States, daylight savings time is just another burden we adjust to a couple of times a year. We turn the clocks back, forward, upward or what have you, and we may not think much of it.
For others, however, Daylight Savings Time (DST) isn’t just another adjustment.
Winter DST can be the root of many mental health problems people face when they lose daylight. After a summer of bright skies and long evenings, individuals are now leaving their crowded offices to gaze at a dark, cold sky.
Is this causing depression? Some of you reading this may consider this notion absurd or trivial, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real and tangible affliction for many people. There are a lot of things that cause depression, including the change of seasons.
Researchers have yet to reach a full consensus on why this is, but many point to the disruption of our circadian rhythms (or biological clocks) as a potential cause. When our sleep cycles are interrupted, there are an array of possible effects, including sluggishness and an inability to feel well-rested.
Even though these are physical ails, they can have a substantial affect on us mentally, as well. For some, this can manifest into full-blown depression. So, the question remains: Is DST (or the winter months in general) making you depressed?
If so, you have plenty of options because depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses. For some people, the solution may be as simple as going to bed earlier and adjusting to a new sleep cycle. They may also need to start going outside during the day and enjoy the sunlight when they can.
If you’re unsure, we also suggest you seek help so that you can prevent these seasonal problems from becoming permanent ones.