Winter is Coming! What You Need to Know About Mental Health

Fall is a favorite time of year for many of us. The colors are changing. The cool crisp air gives a bit of reprieve from the summer heat. Comfort foods such as stews, chili, apple pie, and — of course — pumpkin spice, become main staples. Activities slow down a bit where people are playing outside in the leaves or cuddling on the couch watching a football game or good movie.


And although many love the season. They also know what is ahead. Shorter days where you stay home and are inside more.


As the daylight gets less and the weather colder it is easy to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash


SAD is a seasonal depression that starts in the fall and lasts throughout the winter.


SAD affects approximately 10 million Americans every year. And another 10 to 20 percent suffer from a mild form of SAD.


Some people may refer to this as the “winter blues”. When you feel a little moody and are a little more sluggish. But if that mood starts interfering with your quality of life and you are not doing things you normally enjoy doing. Or if you are feeling consistently depressed and not just a day here or there — you should talk with your primary care physician.


Normally when we think about primary care we don’t think about that including mental health. But it does.


In fact, your primary care physician should be the place you start. They can help you by talking with you, prescribing medication, or if they feel you need more help they can give you recommendations on who to talk to.


In the direct primary care model these services are included in your monthly subscription fee. You don’t have to pay a copay. You don’t have to see how many visits your insurance covers. If you need to talk to someone you can message or call your doctor.


Doctor Sheila Chen at Dimensions Direct Primary Care has patients that come in for a monthly visit just to talk. To vent. To discuss life.


Sometimes having that person — a professional — helps tremendously. They are not there to judge. They will not tell your spouse or your friends. They are there just for you.


Not only do they listen, they also help you develop coping skills so that you get through whatever comes next. Also, they can help determine if something else is going on or if there is an underlying issue. It may be as simple as increasing your Vitamin D or B12 intake. It may also take more — and that’s okay — because let’s face it, life is hard.


Stress and Anxiety


Right now there are so many stressors in the world. Not only are we living through a pandemic — it’s an election year. And you can’t turn on the TV or scroll through social media without seeing arguments about the political candidates.


A poll taken by psychiatrictimes.com found that over 50% of the nation has stress about the upcoming election. And although the voting will be over after November 3, we have heard that it may take a while after that to count all of the votes. And then there will the aftermath of the election results, no matter who wins.


Due to COVID-19 we are navigating a new way of life. COVID has disrupted everything. It has added stress to so many families. And now one in three people suffer from some sort of anxiety or depression.


You may be working from home, homeschooling the kids, or maybe you or your spouse lost your job. Lost your insurance. Lost someone you love. Or not been able to see the people you love.


And now to add to all of that — the holidays are coming. And even if you love every single thing about them, they still bring stress.


For many people, the holidays are hard. They remember a loved one. There is stress about the money spent on gifts and entertaining.


And this year with COVID it magnifies that stress with a layer of unknown.


It is so easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about all of these things. And sometimes your friends or family may not understand. Or they may be trying to get through it too.


Wouldn’t it be nice to talk to someone who is detached from your situation?


Every year we learn more about why mental health is so important. And the stigma of mental health issues are becoming less.


We are becoming more mindful about our own mental health and that of others.


So talk to someone — preferably a professional. And if you don’t know where to start, start with your primary care physician.


If you don’t have insurance, or even if you do, look into Direct Primary Care.


Direct primary care is about caring for the whole person.


It is about getting to know you, not only as a patient, but as a person. Being there for you when you need them. Whether it is because you are not feeling well, it’s time for your annual wellness check, or you just need to talk with someone.


With direct primary care you don’t need to have insurance. You pay a low monthly fee to have access to your primary care physician — whenever you need them.


When you sign up for Dimensions Direct Primary Care you get just that. A person to talk to. Someone that can help with not only your physical needs but help with mental needs too. Someone who wants to get to know you.


Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash


So if you are looking for a primary care physician who treats all of you. A doctor that you can have direct access to through messaging, phone calls, and office visits. You are looking for Direct Primary Care.


Why go through this on your own when you can have a professional by your side?


Call Dimensions Direct Primary Care today at (571) 229-9183 to learn how Dr. Chen can help you this winter.


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