BANGOR – It might be a winter wonderland outside. But that snowy weather may be causing depression for some Mainers.
Some people may love the snow — others not so much — but everyone is affected by it.
Some are affected deeply, as about 9 percent of northern New Englanders suffer from heavy depression caused by the winter weather, according to Dr. David Prescott, a clinical psychologist at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor.
“Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a major depressive episode usually but the onset has to do with either the onset of winter or the onset of summer. To get the diagnosis, you have to have had the depressive episode for at least two straight years and other than that the symptoms are exactly the same for major depression,” he said.
He said women are four times as likely as men to suffer from seasonal depression.
If someone is concerned their friend or family member may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Prescott said to look out for these signs.
“You feel like you don’t have any motivation or energy, maybe your concentration isn’t good, nothing sounds good and some people in extreme cases some people start to have thoughts of suicide and ending their life,” he said.
While there are multiple ways to deal with seasonal depression, Prescott said one of the more effective ways is counseling.
“Counseling can help with that, to try and look at different activities you can do to improve your mood. It may not sound good but the question I ask is ‘Do you think it will make you feel better?’ and sometimes you need a counselor to help you push through that,” Prescott said.
He said to reach out to your primary care physician to learn more about to manage seasonal depression