LUBBOCK, Texas — Big swings in our temperatures with differentials over 40 degrees are not uncommon this time of year. Many associates get sick during the winter months because of the fluctuation of temperatures. However, most illnesses have little to do with the forecast.
Pediatrician Dr. Samuel Herrera of Covenant Health noted that he does see more illnesses with children who have upper respiratory infections and viral illnesses during the winter time. But this has little to do with the weather and more to do with people being in close contact with each other.
“We encourage good hand washing, covering your cough and to stay away from those individuals that you know have those signs and symptoms,” Herrera said. “If you notice that your child’s getting ill, it would be best for the parent to just go ahead and keep that child home, in order to keep children from infecting other children at school, because it is a domino effect.”
During the winter time many people do suffer from seasonal effective disorder; which is a form of depression caused by a lack of sunlight.
When we get less sun exposure our brain doesn’t secrete serotonin like it does during the summer months. This can cause mood swings, disruption in the sleep patterns and can mimic depression.
It is not uncommon for people to start seeking counseling services after the holidays around mid January, and February as they start to reevaluate their lives.
“So the winter months we tend to isolate ourselves whether we know it or not,” said Danica Shay Carranza, a Licensed Master Social Worker and counselor.
Carranza recommended getting out and being active, socializing and getting involved in the community.
“When we are socializing we’re meeting that human need that we have to connect with others,” Carranza said. “There’s a difference between seeking solitude which we all need from time to time, but isolating ourselves is never healthy.”
Symptoms of depression are often associated with extreme behavioral changes.
Whenever something that used to bring joy or excitement ceases to do so can be cause for concern. For example, things like sleeping too much, not sleeping enough or at all could be symptoms of depression. The same can apply to our eating habits. Whatever is out of the norm can be a red flag.
If you are ever feeling depressed don’t hesitate to call a friend, family member or health professional to talk about what is going on and ways to get help.
For any questions regarding admissions to Covenant Behavioral Health Services please call (806) 725-6395 or visit the Covenant Behavioral Health Services website.