Do you notice that you start becoming blue or feeling depressed during a certain time of the year? Has this happened at least two years in a row? Could you be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by many symptoms. The most noticeably one is a form of depression or sadness. It is considered a seasonal disorder than usually happens in the fall or winter months, however it can occur in the spring or summer months as well. However, it most definitely is a reoccurring disorder that occurs the same time each year.
The most common winter on-set symptoms of SAD are:
• Sleepiness and fatigue
• Cravings of carbohydrate foods
• Loss of interest in sex
• Finding yourself withdrawing socially
• Feeling hopeless
• Feeling like life is worth living
Who are more at risk of developing SAD:
• Women are more at risk than men of developing SAD.
• Heredity does play a part in SAD. If a family member suffers from SAD, you are more apt to suffer from it.
• People who live further away from the equator are more apt to develop SAD, since they do not get as much sunlight as others do and the absence of natural sunlight can cause SAD to develop.
What should you do if you think you may have SAD?
• Take it seriously
• Exercise daily
• Make sure you socialize with friends and family more
• Talk to your doctor about whether you should be taking some medication for depression
• Add natural light into your day
• Open up your shades
• Add naturally looking light into your home
• Consult a professional: Talk to him/her about medications, light treatments, talk therapy. Light therapy is something that needs to be described to a patient by a professional. A professional will know what type of therapy is the best and how much therapy should be given. A professional will also know if light therapy is a therapy that will correspond with any other related health conditions the patient has. For instance, if the patient is also suffering from bipolar it is not recommended that the patient is given light therapy because the light can make the patient more manic.
Could SAD be the reason that you just don’t feel like yourself? If you believe it might be, consult your doctor soon.