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How to Tell The Difference Between SAD & Depression



So many of the symptoms of SAD and depression overlap-SAD is just seasonal depression, after all-so why is it so important to figure out what's what? According to Dr. Mennesson, knowing the difference between depression and SAD, allows the person suffering to find out what type of treatment or intervention they need. "While some interventions can be helpful for both, some are less well; for example, light therapy is particularly effective for SAD, while medication may not be as effective for SAD as for regular depression." In other words, in order to avoid unnecessary medication or treatments that will not work, you need to know what the root cause of your depression is really. And most importantly, this is not something you should necessarily self-diagnose. Your doctor can help you tell the difference and create a treatment plan tailored to you

That said, there is one avenue of treatment that is bound to improve your mental health ̵

1; and that's a mindfulness practice. "Whether it's SAD or depression, developing a mindfulness practice is proven to reduce symptoms and lift mood by shifting the mind and body into parasympathetic (" rest and digest ") mode." Mennesson, who is an avid yogi and meditator himself.

So what's the take-home? Neither SAD nor depression are conditions that you should feel like you need to handle alone. Reach out to a doctor, a friend, or a therapist or counselor, and make sure you get the support you need-whether you need it all year round or just in the winter months


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