Seasonal Affective Disorder & You
What is SAD?
SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is often referred to as the “Winter Depression”, and it is the general feeling of sadness that lingers around like a cloud in the changing seasons. SAD can affect anyone, anywhere. However, most commonly it occurs in the colder months.
We can all relate to the general sadness that the year is ending and that the temperature is dropping. We may even resent getting out of bed even more in the winter. However for those with SAD, there is a trend in the wintertime to increase the consumption of food, and decrease interaction with others. Often these people become more irritable and withdrawn from social events and losing interest in activities that were previously enjoyed.
Sad affects millions of people each year, and it affects us in varying amounts of severity. However, the season will pass and time will change and the impact of SAD for the majority of people will go dormant.
Because SAD is a seasonal variant of Depression, some of the symptoms are similar.
- Symptoms include feeling depressed or down most of the day, almost every day.
- Lower interest in activities that were once enjoyed.
- Lower energy and problems with sleeping.
- Changes in appetite or weight.
- Agitation, difficulty concentrating or even feeling despair.
Even if you feel these symptoms, it is very important to visit a doctor to get diagnosed, as these symptoms could be signs of a different illness or ailment.
SAD can be treated in various ways, people who suffer from mild to moderate severity of SAD have seen an increase in general mood and well-being with simple activities such as increasing the amount of sunlight absorbed during the day-time and improving diet and exercise.
SAD can also be treated with proper counseling, there have been copious amounts of research that show that cognitive behavior therapy is effective in treating SAD and depression in people.
Another common treatment for those with SAD is light therapy. Which is a device that emits a light that is similar to sunlight, giving the body that needed sunlight.
Living a Happy Life With SAD
People that are affected with SAD can still live a full and happy life. With the proper management, therapy or even medication people can get back to a “normal” feeling and enjoy the things or even activities they once enjoyed.