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Montana doctors see increase in Seasonal Affective Disorder amid pandemic

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 00:40:36-05

Between the pandemic, civil unrest, and the election, health care providers say they're seeing an influx in patients dealing with mental health issues this year.

As Montana heads into the colder months, doctors said they're preparing for that to continue.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression, is hitting Montanans hard.

Psychiatrists at Providence said their patients are struggling with more and worsened symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Patients said they're worried about getting sick, dealing with loved ones who are sick, and financial insecurity.

Experts tell MTN News social isolation, and change of daily routine, can make mental health issues worse.

Dr. Laura Salyers said the number of referrals to her clinic have about doubled since last year.

"One of the things that we've run in to with depression already is social isolation is a real problem. This year we have that really amplified, and magnified, and almost everyone is experiencing it," said Salyers.

She also said there are many ways people can take care of themselves, like watching your sleeping, eating patterns, and recommends seeking help if you're struggling.

The number for the national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).