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SEASON OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH SEASONAL DEPRESSION: How Does The Change Of Season Affect Their Mood?


Do you feel more depressed than you should during the winter? Maybe in the fall? Its crucial to understand that depression levels might fluctuate as we approach the season of fall months.

Temperatures begin to fluctuate as well as the length of daylight when the seasons change. Lower levels of sunlight are present during the winter and fall, and this can directly affect our moods and level of energy.


During the colder months, If you find it difficult to get out of the bed and you lack the urge to work, you may have morning grogginess and a lack of energy. You may also feel depressed or sadder than normal. This could be a symptom of seasonal affective disorder.


SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a form of depression associated with seasonal variations, starts , and ends about at the same time. If you have SAD, your symptoms begin in the fall, and last into the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. In the spring and summer , these symptoms frequently go away. Less frequently, SAD induces depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter.


Although the precise origins of SAD are unknown, some researchers believe that at different time of the year, certain chemical produced deep within the brain cause changes in attitude. Experts think that this alterations may be connected to SAD. According to one idea, the brain produces less serotonin in the fall and winter because of less sunlight exposure which is connected to brain pathways that control mood. Feelings of depression may stem from improperly nerve cell pathways in the brain that control mood, which may also cause symptom of exhaustion and weight gain.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SAD MAY INCLUDE:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day

  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish

  • Having problem with sleeping too much

  • Experiencing changes in appetite and weight

  • Feeling hopeless and worthless

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • Having frequent thoughts of death and suicide

Specific symptom for winter and fall - pattern SAD :

  • Oversleeping

  • Overeating, particularly with cravings for carbohydrates

  • Weight gain

  • Social withdrawal (feeling like "hibernating" )

Specific symptoms for spring and summer - pattern SAD

  • Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)

  • Poor appetite

  • Insomnia

  • Increased irritability

  • Restlessness and agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Increased irritability


TIPS TO CONTROL SAD

  • Acknowledgement of the problem, often we want to dismiss the problem hoping it will go away, First way to treat a problem is admitting you have one.

  • Consider ways to increase physical activity (walking, cycling, yoga).

  • Consider therapy, group therapy (support group) with others that suffer from the same illness.

  • Look at natural supplements such as SHTP, GABA, B- Vitamins, Vit D3 and Omega3 fish oil for nutritional support.

  • Change diet - consume lean proteins, more plants/vegetable.

  • If all else fails, start with anti-depressant therapy.



References:

  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder

  2. https://taylorcounselinggroup.com/blog/seasonal-depression-how-the-change-of-seasons-affects-your-mood/

  3. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder

  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651