As the seasons change, it can bring about many different emotions. While some of us love the chilly air and winter weather, others dread the arrival of the colder months. It can be common to experience an increased feeling of loneliness or sadness during this time of year.
Occasional episodes of sadness aren’t usually something to worry about, but if your mood and symptoms start to affect your daily life or cause symptoms of depression, you may have seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects about 20% of the population! Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team explains more about this condition below.
Can Anyone Develop SAD?
Everyone is at risk of developing seasonal affective disorder, though women are much more prone to the condition than men are. In the winter, daylight is scarce since the sun is not out as long during the day and the rays are not as powerful. In addition to less available daylight, the colder temperatures have us all spending more time indoors.
Without daily sun exposure, our bodies can start to overproduce melatonin. When there is an overload of melatonin in your system, a variety of symptoms are common. Excessive sleepiness, loss of enjoyment in hobbies and trouble accomplishing tasks are all possibilities.
Indications of SAD
- Increased sleepiness or daytime drowsiness
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Social withdrawal
- Feelings of guilt
Is There a Cure for SAD?
If you are looking for treatment for SAD symptoms, it is important that you visit with your care team first to discuss your condition and come up with a game plan together. For some people, therapy and antidepressants may be suggested. In others, simple lifestyle changes might help!
The good news is that seasonal affective disorder is usually not a condition that affects you all year. Once the weather warms up and the warm sunlight starts to come back, symptoms of SAD tend to lessen or disappear completely. If your symptoms do not improve as the spring and summer seasons roll around, you should seek support, since you may have another form of depression.
Helpful Ways to Combat SAD
- Stand in the sun more often.
- Discover a new hobby to keep you engaged.
- Practice more self-care, like exercising and getting enough sleep.
- Visit with a doctor if your symptoms start to affect your everyday life.
Are you struggling with your mental health? Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road to visit with our care team.