MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance West Virginia (DBSA WV), there is an increase in the number of people touched by depression during the winter months.

The director of the organization, Diane Kisinger, spoke with a 12 News reporter on Dec. 5 regarding the depression rates. She mentioned that the population that does not already have a mood disorder, can be affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by 3%. Those who struggle with depression can be affected by a 20% increase, and those with bipolar disorder can be affected by a 25% increase. Kisinger added that depression, in general, has been up by 25% since the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a variety of reasons behind why the holidays can increase depression, including:

  • Losing a loved one
  • Stress of keeping up
  • Money being tight

The director has offered some advice for those who are struggling this winter season. She said, “if a lot of folks you used to celebrate are no longer with you, and old traditions just kind of make you sad, start a new trend, you know? Um, volunteer, you know, get out in the nature, exercise, eat well, just take care of yourself in general. But, most important is to realize you’re not alone. Please reach out to us.”

She had said that about 25% of us will experience depression in our lifetime. A few resources from DBSA WV include:

  • Mood crew
  • Support groups in multiple counties
  • Call or text 988
  • Education
  • Wellness tools
  • Daily check-in calls

If you are interested in learning more information on DBSA WV, or joining a support group, click here.

However, people can also contact Diane Kisinger directly by emailing or calling (304) 376-7438.

They also have an office in the Mountaineer Mall, where anyone can stop by and talk or grab some pamphlets. Staff and volunteers will be available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday at 5000 Greenbag Road.