Seasonal "Winter Blues" symptoms that linger may be real depression
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you are sick of winter, you might have a real case of the “Winter Blues”, but a new report also says that you could have the early warning signs for something far more serious.
Everyone has days where the winter weather just makes them miserable and moody, but a report from the Cleveland Clinic says that if those days of misery turn into weeks, the “Winter Blues” may actually be full blown depression.
It's estimated, according to experts at the Cleveland Clinic, that nearly one in ten people experience major depression each year and don't even know it.
It's now so common that it's recommended family medicine and primary care doctors screen for it when you visit the doctor.
To do that, they don't just take vital signs such as blood pressure or cholesterol, they ask questions about your mood and general wellbeing.
While it's normal to occasionally feel sad or depressed, when feelings of hopelessness and despair become too intense, that's not normal. Especially when last for long periods of time.
That's one of the ways you can find out if your seasonal sadness is really more than the winter blues.
If feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and sadness last more than few weeks, tell a healthcare provider.
If it's not just the weather, but also low energy and sadness that keeps you indoors and interferes with everyday life and normal activities, tell a friend and a healthcare provider.
The experts in this report say this type of depression is a serious illness, and if left untreated, can get worse and last for years.
Depression can run families, or be triggered by life-altering events. These can include a divorce, the death of someone you love, abuse or a major illness.
The good news is that you can get diagnosis and treatment that can at least help your body reset.
There are newer lab tests now that can tell your doctor exactly what will and won't work for treatment. It is no longer “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to what works to help you feel better.