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By the end of October, the nights will be longer and the days will be chillier and shorter. The reduced daylight can leave some people feeling like hibernating. Many feel life is more difficult during these darker months.
At HOPELineUK, we hear from young people (under the age of 35) who share how this change in the seasons can leave them struggling with low mood, symptoms of depression and thoughts of suicide.
Some of these young people may have a diagnosis of S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but for those without a diagnosis, they can still experience feelings of despair, a lack of interest in things, a craving for carbohydrate-heavy foods, tiredness, affected sleeping patterns and increased thoughts of despair or suicide.
Whilst it’s impossible to stop the seasons changing, you can take steps to cope with these changes.
Here are some things that can help:
If you’re 35 or under and feel that the darker days are causing you to feel suicidal or increasing existing thoughts of suicide, or you have concerns for someone else under the age of 35 experiencing thoughts of suicide, you can contact HOPELineUK by phone, text or email and talk to our suicide prevention advisors. HOPELineUK staff can listen and give short-term advice around staying safe from suicide. We can help you to manage thoughts of suicide, identify ways to cope and work on a safe-for-now plan.
HOPELineUK is a service dedicated to providing short-term advice and support for young people. The service is staffed by mental health professionals. We offer practical advice, support and, where necessary, intervention for young people up to the age of 35 experiencing thoughts of suicide, or those concerned about others with thoughts of suicide.
You can access specific support around S.A.D. from the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA) http://www.sada.org.uk . If you feel you might be experiencing symptoms of S.A.D. we would encourage you to talk to a doctor about this, or telephone NHS 111.