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Preventing winter depression – which is important

Preventing winter depression – which is important

Anyone who is prone to symptoms of depression in winter should take the problem seriously and treat it. How can winter depression be prevented?

Many people do not feel as alert in the dark season as they do in the spring and summer. Winter depression, technically called seasonal affective disorder, isn't just accompanied by mild fatigue. Sufferers experience depression, lethargy, problems concentrating, and other depressive symptoms for weeks in the fall and winter months, which can usually only be alleviated through targeted treatment. It is then important to prevent relapses.

On the one hand, it may be necessary to continue the treatment prescribed by the doctor. On the other hand, some practical measures can help reduce the risk of recurring depressive episodes.

Prevent winter depression with long-term treatment

Winter depression is usually treated with phototherapy, psychotherapy and/or certain medications (antidepressants). These measures can not only provide acute, short-term relief, but can also be used for a longer period of time.

This is often useful and recommended for recurrent symptoms of depression: scientific studies show that long-term psychotherapy in particular can help prevent relapses – so-called relapse prevention. The therapist can estimate how long the continuum should last and exactly how it should be structured.

Whether and to what extent recurrence of winter depression can be prevented with phototherapy has not yet been adequately researched. At least this type of therapy can be integrated into daily life quite easily: sufferers can get into the habit of sitting in front of a daylight lamp for half an hour to an hour every day after waking up.

Prevent winter depression – exercise is also recommended

In order to prevent the frequent mood swings that are typical of winter depression, in addition to professional treatment, lifestyle management is also important. A regular daily routine, regular contact with your loved ones, and exercise or exercise are all beneficial for a stable psyche.

Based on previous studies, it cannot be said with certainty which exercise is appropriate and at what intensity and frequency should be practiced. Obviously, this also depends on the individual health conditions and preferences of those affected. That's why it's best to get advice from your doctor about this. It is also advisable, especially for those who are new to sports, to conduct training under the supervision of a specialist.

Instead of exercise, a lighter form of physical exercise can also be helpful, such as regular walking outdoors.