Connect with us


Who is at risk for winter depression? – healing practice



Winter depression: who is most at risk?

During the fall and winter months, some people experience a so-called seasonal affective disorder (SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as winter blues named. Experts explain who is particularly at risk and what can be done about it.

As the days get shorter, many people lose their temper as the temperatures drop. Some even develop winter depression, also known as the winter or autumn blues. In a stream contribution The famous Mayo Clinic (USA) explains who is particularly at risk.

Signs and symptoms

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression linked to the changing seasons. However, many do not even know they are affected. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • feeling listless, sad, or depressed for most of the day, almost every day
  • Loss of interest in activities that were otherwise fun
  • have trouble sleeping
  • Developing appetite changes, including either cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods and overeating, or loss of appetite
  • have trouble concentrating
  • feeling lethargic or excited
  • feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty

Because other types of depression or other mental illnesses can cause similar symptoms, diagnosing seasonal affective disorder can be difficult. diagnose.

These factors may play a role

The causes of winter depression have not been definitively elucidated. Some factors that may come into play are:

The circadian rhythm or internal clock
Reduced sun exposure in fall and winter can cause seasonal affective disorder. Diminished sunlight can disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to depression.

serotonin levels
A drop in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, may play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can lead to a drop in serotonin, which can lead to depression.

melatonin level
The change of seasons can upset the balance of melatonin levels in the body, leading to sleep disturbances and low mood.

risk factors

Winter depression is diagnosed more often in women than in men. And it occurs more often in young adults than in older adults. Other The factorsthat can increase your risk are:

family history
People with seasonal affective disorder may be more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.

depression or bipolar disorder
Symptoms may worsen seasonally in people with depression or bipolar disorder.

live far from the equator
Seasonal affective disorder seems to be more common in people living far north or south of the equator. This may be due to less sun exposure in winter and longer days in summer.

Low levels of vitamin D
Some vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. A small part is also ingested through food. Vitamin D supports serotonin synthesis. Less sunlight and insufficient intake of vitamin D from food can lead to low levels of vitamin D in the body or vitamin D deficiency.

treatment options

And what are the options to counter the so-called autumn or winter blues? In principle, the main elements of treatment for depressive disorders (psychotherapy, medication) are used in seasonal depression, but specific therapies such as light therapy extended.

For minor complaints, the motto is: light, activity and sport. Go out as often as possible and in all weathers – ideally for an hour or more, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) recommends on their website.

movement ensures a better mood because the brain metabolism is positively influenced. And daylight increases the release of mood-enhancing serotonin.

Other tips or home remedies for winter depression: Make sure you drink enough fluids. Because in addition to physical activity and light, water also helps to reduce symptoms such as fatigue and apathy.

This too meal plays a role in how fit or tired people feel. In general, the diet should not contain too much fat, but plenty of vegetables and fruits. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • Mayo Clinic: Consumer Health: Who is at Risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder?, (Accessed November 5, 2022), Mayo Clinic
  • Techniker Krankenkasse: autumn and winter blues, (accessed: 05.11.2022), Health insurance for technicians

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *