“It is a sad time, eyes of enchantment …” – autumn is perhaps the most romantic time of the year. I want to bury myself under a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and a little sadness about the past summer. And, nevertheless, many people at this time are covered by such a characteristic phenomenon as the autumn depression. At first glance it may seem that this condition is a manifestation of weak character and inclination to hypochondria. However, autumn depression occurs for very specific reasons that are easy to explain in terms of physiology. What are the main symptoms of this condition, its etiology and how to help yourself if life is not a joy?
Causes of autumn depression
In autumn, the daylight becomes much shorter, especially the inhabitants of the northern regions, the Polar region, feel this. In December, the sun may not show at all in some localities of our country: enlightenment comes for a few hours, and darkness surrounds most of the day.
For a person, sunlight is as vital a necessity as water and food. After all, under the action of ultraviolet rays, the brain produces a hormone serotonin, which affects mood. Its sufficient synthesis provides a positive attitude and vitality. Reduced production leads to a depressed mood, so the dark season is the cause of this condition.
In addition, the emotional background is influenced not only by the amount of the hormone serotonin, but also by the protein content that transports it. And it also depends on the length of daylight.
Natural production of serotonin and transport proteins is genetically determined, that is, there are a number of people from whom it was initially reduced. They are prone to depression at any time of the year, and the likelihood of autumnal deterioration in mood is particularly high.
Symptoms of autumn depression
Suspect the symptoms of autumn depressed anyone can and for this he does not necessarily need expert advice.
The probability of this condition is very high if a person has a combination of several symptoms:
- Constant drowsiness during the daytime, night sleep is not refreshing, after waking up a person already feels tired.
- Reduced motivation, interest in life and familiar activities, apathy.
- Nothing brings pleasure: neither communication with a loved one and friends, nor work, nor activities with children.
- Change in appetite: some people completely lose their appetite, while others spend the whole evening at the fridge.
- Distraction, reduced concentration, inability to focus on one case.
- Reduced self-esteem, increased guilt, own worthlessness, uselessness.
- The emergence of suicidal thoughts.
- The feeling of anxiety, the approach of something terrible, baseless experiences.
Depending on the severity of these symptoms, autumn depression can be mild, moderate or severe. The appearance of a suicidal mood is a dangerous symptom that requires mandatory consultation by a specialist (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst).
Food in the fight against autumn depression
Autumn depression of mild and moderate degree is quite amenable to correction with non-drug measures. The main means of raising the mood, no doubt, are certain foods.
Many people know that sweet food, in particular chocolate, helps to get rid of any blues. The reason is that it is a natural donor of the hormone serotonin. A few cloves of bitter chocolate can be the best antidepressant. However, one should not understand this advice literally: if you consume a whole tile every day throughout the fall, then by the winter you can gain a few extra pounds. As a result, by the New Year, a complete stranger will look at you from the mirror, which will only aggravate the depressive mood.
In addition to chocolate, there are other foods that help fight the autumn depression: bananas, dates, dried fruits, flour. It is also worth enriching your diet with protein foods: they help to accumulate energy for the cold winter and to maintain strength to fight infectious diseases. Therefore, in the autumn it is necessary to eat meat products, fish and other seafood, nuts, cottage cheese, cheese, eggs.
Another great helper in the fight against autumn depression is grapefruit. It is said that all citrus fruits contain a large amount of vitamins of group C and B, therefore they are very useful in the fall. However, it is the grapefruit that affects the exchange of serotonin, is a low-calorie product, so it does not harm the figure. Besides, it’s just delicious!
How else can you help yourself in the autumn depression
Fighting autumn depression is important and necessary, because autumn is an important period: the beginning of the school year, many different activities at work. Therefore, it is not necessary to fall out of life because of this temporary blues. How else can you handle this seasonal condition?
- Additional lighting in the apartment and at work.
This item is extremely important, because under the action of light in the body, the hormone serotonin is produced, which is the key to a good mood. You can buy brighter light bulbs, an extra lamp, replace dark curtains and bed linen with light ones. Homely atmosphere should not cause melancholy, but only a feeling of joy, comfort and coziness.
- Medicinal herbs in the fight against depression.
Black tea and strong coffee are stress-like drinks, as they constrict blood vessels, increase heartbeat, increase pressure. However, the symptoms of depression on the background of their frequent admission can only increase. Broths of linden, thyme, peppermint help to cope with longing, green tea is a great way to calm down and feel the positive mood.
- Physical activity.
The best fight against melancholy is playing sports. Any kind of physical activity gives vitality, improves mood. In addition, contemplation in the mirror of your own figure with a relief press, slender legs and beautiful buttocks – this is the best antidepressant!
- Increased sleep duration.
Naturally, if the window is constantly dark, then you want to sleep all day. You should not resist your body, because he always feels that he is better. The duration of a night’s sleep should be at least 7 hours, but in the fall and winter it can be increased to 8-9.
- More humor!
Try not to go into viewing melodramas, after which you want to cry. Humorous shows, comedies, light reality shows help keep a good mood.
Are there cures for autumn depression?
If all of the above methods do not allow to cope with the autumn depression, life has lost all meaning, and even suicidal thoughts arise, then consultation of a specialist in mental problems is necessary. Sometimes simple communication with a competent psychologist or psychoanalyst is enough to understand: this is a temporary condition that will sooner or later pass.
In the fight against autumn depression, as a form of depression in general, special medication. They belong to the group of serotonergic antidepressants, for example Citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine. These drugs have a number of side effects, so they are sold only by prescription from a doctor. One of these manifestations is a pronounced increase in appetite, which can adversely affect the figure.
Autumn depression is a condition that is seasonal. As soon as light day starts to increase, good mood and joy to life returns to people.