Sunshine and Depression
Whilst I’ve been writing a series of blogs on unhelpful thinking styles, which I will continue on with next time, I thought I’d write about something a little different this week, bearing in mind the weather we’re currently enjoying.
The sun is shining and I personally find that everything looks so much nicer when the sun is out – the trees are leafy and green and flowers are springing up everywhere. So whilst for many people it’s a lovely opportunity to spend some time outdoors, getting some exercise and fresh air, for others it’s actually a difficult time – because when you’re struggling with depression – the sunshine may make little difference to how you feel.
There can be an expectation that the lighter days, the approach of summer, and even royal weddings, should lift spirits and cause us to feel happy, and yes for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder – the sunshine makes a very positive difference. However, for many suffering from depression, the sunshine may only highlight their low mood – and cause them to question why this remains unchanged, despite the brighter weather. So this is where a greater understanding of depression is needed – it is an illness, not just about having a bad day or two. Depression is when you have an ongoing sense of sadness and hopelessness that doesn’t lift and can also include loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.
If you’re feeling depressed, it can be very upsetting and frustrating that sunny weather or upcoming holidays aren’t helping you feel better, and can deepen that sense of hopelessness. So if you’re feeling like this, it’s an indication that something more significant is affecting you and therefore it is important to not suffer in silence, but to seek additional support. Depression is much more common than you might think and there are various options for treatment, a first step may be to talk to your GP. Talking therapies, such as Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are often effective in treating depression, so if you would like to try this, or have any questions about it, please do get in touch.