What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
What is seasonal affective disorder? Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression and also called winter depression.
It is defined as a severe form of depression that affects both people in their seasonal environments and those around them.
Those who suffer from this condition typically experience symptoms and mood changes similar to clinical depression, which generally occurs during the winter and fall months when there’s less sun.
Although seasonal affective disorder is not technically an anxiety disorder, researchers have found that those who are prone to it tend to experience higher levels of stress and anxiety and are more depressed than those who aren’t affected by it.
While there are many people who don’t experience any symptoms of this disorder, for those who do, the symptoms can make many people feel as though they are unable to cope with the normal stresses of life.
Those who are affected by SAD tend to lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy such as sports, hobbies, or certain types of television shows.
They also may feel as if their life is out of control and are reluctant to accept help. Those who suffer from this disorder should immediately seek treatment as soon as possible.
Left untreated, it can worsen to the point where it causes serious depression, substance abuse, and other serious medical conditions.
Although it affects those who are in their late winter and fall months, it is more common to those who are in their early summer months through the first week of the spring season.
This disorder is most common to those who have jobs during these months and spend a great deal of time outside.
Those who live in areas that are less sunny and have less daylight during the daytime are more likely to be affected by this condition, as are those who spend more time in the early morning hours.
In fact, it can sometimes feel like winter is coming again! Those who are affected will find ways to cope with their sadness during the colder months.
How To Recognize Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a kind of depression which is linked to changes in seasonal rhythms.
Generally speaking, SAD starts and finishes at about the same time each year.
However, if you are like many people with SAD, you may start having symptoms in the fall and last all through the winter season, sapping your emotional energy and leaving you feeling down and depressed.
For those with SAD who do not know when the seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms will appear, they can look forward to having seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear on a regular basis.
SAD can be an extremely frustrating and depressing disorder for those who have it, but fortunately there is treatment available for those who suffer from SAD.
Generally, the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder will start to appear throughout the year (spring, winter, summer and fall).
Some people will start to notice that they are beginning to have lower energy levels and that their moods have become more depressed or hopeless.
Other people may feel that they have lost interest in things that they used to find enjoyable such as sports or other activities.
Low energy and low mood symptoms may also lead to other problems like a decrease in appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
When you notice that you have these seasonal affective disorder symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor.
Because everyone’s bodies run on different schedules, it is possible that the symptoms you are experiencing could be caused by a low energy, low mood, or other disorder.
Your doctor should be able to refer you to a specialist to help treat your seasonal affective disorder symptoms.
During this time of year, doctors highly recommend that patients get plenty of rest, eat plenty of nutritious foods, and take low doses of medications.
Understanding SAD Fall and winter Depression Symptoms
SAD symptoms as it specifically relates to Fall and winter months include:
- non-stop Sleeping, or oversleeping
- Sudden Appetite change (Craving foods that are high in carbs)
- Bodyweight increase
- Fatigue, or very low energy
Understanding Spring and summer Depression Symptoms of SAD
Spring and summer depression can be a drag, here are the signs of Spring and Summer depression:
- sleeping issued
- Poor appetite
- Decrease in weight
“How to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder? Symptoms, Treatment & Remedies.”
Seasonal Affective Disorder is sometimes difficult to deal with and treat. But there are ways to lessen its negative impact and thus keep it from returning year after year.
“What Can We Do About It?” There are numerous medications that help treat the symptoms of depression.
These include chemically based antidepressants (neuroleptics), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Light therapy is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder.
This treatment involves exposing people to artificial light at various times of the day, either during the natural daylight or at twilight.
In addition to medication, light therapy can also include the use of vitamin D, zinc and chromotherapy.
Researchers have found that using certain vitamins, amino acids, minerals and botanicals help to alleviate symptoms and even cure for seasonal affective disorder.
For example, Vitamin C helps the body produce serotonin, which is essential in boosting mood, reducing anxiety and promoting feelings of well-being.
Zinc affects serotonin levels in the brain and can help to balance out mood swings caused by depression, making it particularly effective for treating seasonal affective disorder.
Aromatherapy can be used as an alternative to prescription drugs to treat seasonal affective disorder.
In addition to using essential oils for mood control, aromatherapy can also be used to relieve muscle and joint pain, as well as to stimulate the immune system and enhance sleeping.
In general, it’s best to try and stay in tune with the patterns of your life. While you may not be able to prevent seasonal affective disorder from occurring, understanding its triggers and finding ways to cope with them can go a long way toward easing its effects on your mood.
You may not have to give up your favorite pastimes, but it may help to spend less time outside during those times when you feel depressed.
You’ll find that once you start feeling better, you’ll want to return to your favorite activities, giving the disorder more meaning and fewer chances for complications.
Commonly Asked Questions?
why do i get depressed in the fall?
Your sadness and depression can be contributed to several factors like seasonal Affective Disorder, relational problems, loss of a family member, or other factors.
Why Do I Get Depressed in The Spring?
Being depressed on the spring can be attributed to a number of things, but if it something that happens every spring then you might have what we call seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
What Do I Get Depressed in The Summer?
Summertime is usually a very fun time for people, but some usually fall deep into depression. If you have summer depression, then Seasonal Affective Disorder might be the culprit. However, there are other factors that can cause your depression in the summer like relational problems, grieving because of a death or maybe you are having a medical issue.
What Do I Get Depressed in The Fall?
Becoming depressed in the Fall can be related to several different factors in your life. For instance, you maybe having relationship problems, job loss, financial difficulty. However, if this something that occurs every fall, you might have what the medical industry call Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.