Like many living in the Pacific Northwest, pediatric nurse Cara Pierson suffers from seasonal affective disorder, a type of seasonal depression that coincides with the winter months each year. As the science around mental health continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly clear just how much we don’t understand about the mind, mood and environmental interactions. As with many poorly understood health conditions, seasonal depression is often brushed off as being “all in your head” or somehow the fault of the sufferer. This outdated attitude leaves many to suffer alone.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Cara shares what it’s like to prepare for her yearly slide into depression, her frustrations with the way our healthcare system approaches mental health, and the cognitive framing she has developed to cope.

As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Cara provides online child development consultations and parent coaching. Search for Full Spectrum Families on Facebook or visit her website at

Cara can also be found teaching online yin and flow yoga at


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