May 03, 2023
May arrived with a feeling of cold, gray skies and strong winds. Therefore, we should know how a sudden change in the weather can affect our mood.
According to SENAMHI, for the city of Lima, the month of May arrived with a notorious drop in temperature, along with a greater sensation of cold and strong winds in the capital. In weather like this, in addition to allergies, it is essential to consider how these variations can affect our mood.
Bienestar talked to Antonella Galli, psychologist and psychotherapist at Clínica Ricardo Palma, to understand the changes that can be generated, at an emotional level, in people during the reappearance of low temperatures.
“More than the cold itself, emotional changes can occur because of the light we receive. For example, seasonal depression is much stronger in Nordic European countries, where they only have 4 or 5 hours of sunlight in winter. In cases like this, there is a greater increase in this type of depression”, the specialist indicates.
What is seasonal depression?
Seasonal depression is a type of emotional disorder that can appear due to changes in sunlight between autumn and winter. What differentiates it from a usual depression is that, in this case, it disappears in spring and summer, along with the appearance of sunlight again. “Seasonal depression is distinguished by the fact that it lasts only during this time,” the psychologist mentioned.
The symptoms of this disorder, on the one hand, can be very similar to those of a common depression. A person going through these emotional changes will have low energy, listlessness, loss of pleasure in things that previously generated interest, appearance of insecurities, irritability and self-doubt.
However, there is something that characterizes it compared to other mental health disorders. In the case of seasonal depression, there is greater anxiety and, due to this feeling, the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates increases. As a result, there is a notorious weight gain during this time.
How can seasonal depression be treated?
To explain the treatment that a person with seasonal depression should undergo, we talked to Dr. Enrique Galli Silva, head of the Psychiatry Department – Galli group, of Clinica Ricardo Palma, who has become one of the pioneers in light therapy at a national level. First of all, he emphasized that a patient, when diagnosed with this disorder, should consult a psychiatrist specializing in bipolarity. “It could be masked to bipolar depression, which is also atypical. This condition should be ruled out before prescribing antidepressants,” he emphasized.
According to Dr. Galli, one of the most common treatments is light therapy. This process consists of the use of lamps that replace sunlight and are applied to the patient in 30 to 40-minute sessions.
Also, if the case shows severe symptoms, it can be positive to take a psychotherapeutic accompaniment in order to fight seasonal depression. “Seasonal depression is different from the others. It does not generate insomnia, on the contrary, and there is no lack of appetite, as can be common. Therefore, we must know the symptoms to be able to identify it and treat it before it becomes harmful to the affected person,” the doctor concluded.
Dr. Antonella Galli – Psychologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma
Dr. Enrique Galli – Psychiatrist at Clinica Ricardo Palma