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Tips on how to fight off seasonal depression amid pandemic

Posted at 11:38 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 13:38:44-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - After seven long months of dealing with the pandemic, it's easy to assume that the general population is growing tired of COVID-19. The mental strain has been non-stop and now seasonal depression is expected to add to those stresses.

"There is one word that I would say now, it is fatigue,” said Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour about how people are feeling regarding the pandemic. “There is no question, the public is fatigued."

Mental health experts worry that seasonal depression will only add to the already prevalent pandemic-related stresses.

"It just multiplies it, it stacks,” said CHI Health Mental Health Therapist Tim Hron.

Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, has to do with changes in serotonin levels in the colder months, directly affecting your mood. It's a condition that affects about five percent of adults in the U.S. and typically lasts about 40 percent of the year.

"It can present itself with fatigue, depressed mood, some of those other typical symptoms of depression but just more in that seasonal time frame," said Hron.

Hron also says it's important to reach out for help if your symptoms last longer than two weeks. Connection with friends and family is also important during this time, and self-care is key.

"Make sure you're eating healthy, you're staying hydrated...maybe start a new hobby," he said.

It's important to stay vigilant and hopeful during the pandemic, ask for help when necessary, and get plenty of rest.

This story was first reported by Ruta Ulcinaite at KMTV in Council Bluffs, Iowa.