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Seasonal depression can trigger long-term mental illness

Thanksgiving is already behind us and we are entering into the middle of the holiday season. While most Americans embrace the holidays, sharing time with family and friends, going to holiday parties and sharing gifts, for some Americans the holidays can leave a person depressed.

For many Americans living a less than ideal social life, whether they are in an unhealthy relationship or not in a relationship at all, the holidays can bring out feelings of loneliness and even severe depression. The winter season may only worsen these conditions. The weather is colder, sunlight is at a minimum and wintery conditions can make travel and being outdoors less than enjoyable.

This condition, commonly known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, can extend throughout the winter months and holiday season, and may trigger a more persistent and long-term depression. Various mental conditions, including depression, anxiety attacks and panic attacks, may be accepted conditions for Social Security Disability benefits.

In order for a condition to be considered a qualifying mental condition, it must be proved that the condition is expected to last at least a year and that it is serious enough that the victim cannot find or maintain gainful employment. Unlike injuries and illnesses, which can be more easily spotted and diagnosed with various scans, mental disorders are generally not tangible or visible to medical professionals. It may be in your best interest to get more information about Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions to learn how to best apply for benefits.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)", Accessed on Nov. 29, 2016

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