Prevent depressive mood in winter

Prevent depressive mood in winter

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Endure depressive mood in winter: active and cheerful in the winter
The sun hardly shines, the days get shorter and darker. For many people, winter time brings not only cloudy weather, but also a cloudy mood. In the darker months it is possible to get a "winter blues" or even a real depression. Fatigue, listlessness and depressed mood are typical depressive symptoms. Every fourth citizen in Germany suffers from these impairments in winter, feels sad and unmotivated. Consultation in the pharmacy can educate people who are prone to mood swings about treatment options or preventive measures. However, a correct depression definitely belongs in the hands of a doctor.

Winter blues or real depression?
In most cases, the symptoms of "winter blues", i.e. depressive mood, appear from the beginning of November.

Many people often feel tired and lacking drive in the colder seasons. An increased appetite for sweets, for example, is typical of a depressed mood in winter. The body uses sugar to try to get serotonin, the “happiness hormone”. At first glance, symptoms of a depressed mood resemble those of a real depression. The following symptoms are unmistakable signs that the "winter blues" has turned into a real depression: listlessness, loss of appetite, massive sleep disorders, the feeling of inner emptiness, difficulty concentrating and a depressed mood.

"In contrast to depressive mood, the symptoms appear more and more frequently with depression" explains Dr. Richard Klämbt, President of the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists. "It is important to consult a specialist in the event of suspected depression in order to clarify the causes and treatment options."

Treatment of depressive mood
St. John's wort is used to treat depression. It is a herbal remedy that is used for both mild and moderate depression as well as depressive moods. St. John's wort increases the sensitivity of the skin to light, which is why patients should only enjoy the sun's rays in moderation and avoid the solarium. The medicinal plant is part of many finished medicinal products.

It is important to pay close attention to the dosage, as some products do not contain extracts and are therefore dosed much lower. However, a certain dosage is necessary to achieve a noticeable effect. Since self-treatment is associated with risks, it always makes sense to ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice. "Patients should also be patient and do not stop taking them too early, because the first effect only takes about two to four weeks," said President Richard Klämbt.

Everyday tips
In mild cases of depressive mood, small changes can be made in everyday life. Daylight, for example, has a positive effect on mood. Even if it is cloudy, daylight boosts the release of serotonin. A 30-minute walk is enough. Sports activities also increase the production of happiness hormones. In addition, a healthy diet works against depressive moods and stress.

Tropical fruits such as oranges, bananas and mandarins contain many vitamins and therefore provide a lot of energy for the day. The lack of vitamin D can also be a reason for a depressed mood. For this reason, people who feel depressed should have their blood tests checked by their family doctor to check their vitamin D levels. "Anyone who feels depressed should get information about the treatment options in the pharmacy or from their family doctor," recommends Klämbt. "However, those with a real depression should definitely go to the doctor," he also emphasizes. Patience is the order of the day when depressed. Many people have already survived this disease - so hold on!

Author and source information

Video: Six Things to Know About the Winter Blues - The Nebraska Medical Center (August 2022).