Seasonal Depression

It’s about that time of year wear days get shorter, nights get colder, and people get sad. Seriously, Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD, go figure) is a very real condition people get as the weather changes.

SAD has only be recognized by the medical community since the 1980’s. Though it had been discussed many times in literature, and elsewhere, there was no medical name or diagnosis since then.

Many people who suffer from SAD live in Alaska, because they will have days and days of complete darkness. Some doctors think a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D can be a leading cause of SAD. Many of the symptoms of sad are very similar to Major Depression- however the difference between the two is that SAD will likely dissipate as the months become warmer, and lead into the Spring. Some signs might be feeling worthless or hopeless, gaining weight, crying, fatigue, and social withdrawal.

Who can suffer from SAD? Just about anyone, but women are more likely to be effected by it, though in men the symptoms may be more severe.

Treatment of SAD can be similar to that of regular depression, though it may not need to be considering the severity. Going outside during the day may help people with SAD, given they will get some sunlight and out of the house. There is something called “Light therapy” where you can expose yourself to a light and it will hopefully lighten your mood- sounds crazy but I would assume it would work. Doctors will usually ask that you attend some sort of therapy, and lastly would prescribe a medication if the symptom were severe enough.

SAD can be daunting but it is no different than being majorly depressed. If you find that you’re feeling down because of the weather don’t be scared to speak up or seek help- it’s easy to fall into those patterns, and it can be just as easy to climb back out.


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