SAD-is short for (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
It’s a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, which begins and ends at the same times every year
If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into winter months.
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having low energy
- Interest & activities you once had, you no longer have
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
Fall and winter SAD
Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:
- Tiredness or low energy
- Problems getting along with other people
- Hypersensitivity to rejection
- Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
- Craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
Spring and summer SAD
Symptoms sometimes called summer depression, may include:
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Agitation or anxiety
Seasonal changes in bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of mania (hypomania).
Causes of SAD
The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. Some factors that may come into play include:
- Your biological clock (circadian rhythm).
The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD.
This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.
- Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD.
Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
- Melatonin levels.
The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.
Factors that may increase your risk of seasonal affective disorder include:
- Being female.
It’s more common for women to suffer from SAD than men, but not uncommon for a man
- Family history.
People with SAD may be more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.
Young people have a higher risk of winter SAD, and winter SAD is less likely to occur in older adults.
- Having clinical depression or bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of depression may worsen seasonally if you have one of these conditions.
So how can you reduce the symptoms of SAD?
Though there treatments such as:
- light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight
- Talking therapies-, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or counseling
- Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Sunshine- is a more natural option, but some people reside in countries that lack this so this can be tricky.
If you are anything like me and loaf the winter blues, I really empathize with you it sucks!
Me personally I up my game when faced with the winter blues by training regularly and frequently.
I call it winter training, getting up in the pitch dark can be a drag at the best of times but it works with me.
I ensure that I am fueling with good foods and eating more during the day supposed to the evening when I am less active.
Eating crappy foods/unhealthy drinks such as:
- Processed ready-made meals
- Sweets & crisps
- Fizzy drinks
All the above is a no-no for me; instead, I ensure I am eating lots vegetables, fruits and ensure I am drinking at least 1-2 liters of water supposed to drowning myself with caffeine.
In my training, I also ensure I have access to a boxing bag as smacking it releases any stress and negativity I have built up.
This could be from work having a deadline to send in for writing, rushes to meet clients and family pressure.
I also find that meditating helps the mind and assist in giving you a break, you should try it?
If you stop to think for a moment, you owe it to yourself to give you a break
Rather than using medication prescribed by a professional, I would highly recommend taking the natural alternative.
Remember your mind is yours, learn how to nurture it rather than it telling you how to feel.