Also known as Seasonal Disorder (SAD), people with winter depression may experience symptoms such as a persistent low mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, increased fatigue, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite or weight, and a decrease in energy levels. They may also have a greater need for sleep, feel more irritable or agitated.
The exact cause of winter depression is unknown, but it is believed to be related to changes in exposure to sunlight, which can disrupt the body's internal clock and affect certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin, that are linked to mood regulation. The reduction in sunlight during the winter months may also disrupt the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in sleep regulation.
Treatment for winter depression may include light therapy, where individuals are exposed to bright artificial light to mimic sunlight, which can help regulate their circadian rhythm.
Its important to take contact with your doctor if you have been feeling down over an extended period of time. Your doctor will evaluate whether you may need medications and psychotherapy may also be prescribed to manage symptoms.
I thoroughly recommend lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, spending time outdoors especially during the daylight hours, and to maintain a healthy diet, all of which can also be beneficial in managing the symptoms of winter depression. There is the Norwegian saying "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing"; a reminder for us to wrap up well before going out.
And lastly, make sure to check in on your friends that you haven't heard from for a while..having social connections is important for us humans and makes it all the more easier to get through these Norwegian winters.