Margaret Swartz

Margaret Swartz

About this time of year the days are getting longer, but the weather is not getting warmer. Most of us cannot just buy a ticket to a warmer climate, so we start to feel our mood dropping. Is this depression or just the winter blues. Let’s take a look at what are the signs of depression versus the “blues” and then some ideas to lift those down spirits.

In the absence of some other medical condition that could bring our mood down, such as most periods of illness, the down mood associated with depression lasts for at least two weeks or more. There is a loss of interest in just about anything that brings pleasure or used to bring enjoyment. A sense of sadness, emptiness, or even hopelessness is also present on a daily basis for most or all day long. In addition, this could easily be accompanied by irritability. Some other signs of depression often include some either/or symptoms such as unexplained weight loss or weight gain, problems with too much or too little sleep, and feeling sluggish or particularly nervous. Truly depressed individuals feel worthless, have problems thinking or concentrating on work or activities. Finally, they will often think a good bit about death. This can include suicidal thoughts, which makes depression a very serious Illness and professional help should be sought.

Margaret H. Swartz, Psy.D. is a member of Healthy Adams County’s Behavioral Health Task Force, a licensed psychologist in private practice ay Yorlan Psychological Associates, York.

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