Battling seasonal depression amid time change

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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MAMMOTH SPRING, Ark. (KAIT) - With time set to go back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, the reduced sunlight could mean trouble with your mental health.

With the sun going down an hour earlier after the time change, research shows cases of depression begin to increase.

Frankie Smith, a Licensed Professional Counselor at Transforming Lives Counseling in Mammoth Spring, said seasonal depression can affect those with or without trauma.

“Maybe just because they’re not able to get out and do things that they were able to do during the summer,” she said. “Sometimes we find that people that have a history of trauma or loss, it hits them harder. As we know, when we’re not outside and staying busy, our minds tend to wonder more.”

Smith encouraged those who struggle with the change in time to reach out to a therapist or friend to talk to.

“What I found that helps so much is people coming in and talking about what’s going on. Encouraging them to get out if they’re able to during the daylight when they have the sun. Maybe get some daylight light bulbs in their house instead of the soft white. Different things.”

When it comes to fighting depression, Smith said the best thing you can do is adjust your schedule and enjoy yourself.

“Even if it’s during the lunch hour if you work, get out and enjoy it. Make some plans with family or friends to spend time during the evening instead of going home in the dark and not doing anything, sitting around doing your in-house stuff,” she said.

If you or someone you know is battling depression, there is always help.

You can call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning there is always someone you can talk to at a moment’s notice.