Image via Pixabay
It’s natural to have a bad day or a bad week here and there. But, for some people, it’s not just a bad day or feeling reminiscent about the summer – it could be seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Image via Pixabay
As seasons start to change and cooler weather descends upon us, do you find yourself in a better mood? Or do you find yourself nostalgic for long summer days in the warmth of the sun?
It is true that a change is season can be the reason for the change in your mood. Some people feel happy, motivated and more energetic as soon as the temperatures start to drop. Whereas others feel down or sad, even depressed. There is a science-backed reason you’re more likely to feel down in the cooler months.
It’s natural to have a bad day or a bad week here and there. But, for some people, it’s not just a bad day or feeling reminiscent about the summer – it could be seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression triggered or related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same time every year.
As the seasons transition from summer to autumn to winter, our days get shorter and we see less sunlight per day. Sunlight also impacts your serotonin levels, making the feelings you’re feeling emotional and physical.
Seasonal affective disorder is more commonly associated with its emotional depressive symptoms, but some of the symptoms are physical as well. You may experience a larger appetite than usual and crave foods that are very starchy or sweet. Some people even experience feeling as if their extremities are being weighed down. Other symptoms may include feeling tired, having low energy, oversleeping and losing interest in usual activities. It’s certainly different from just having a bad day.
If you have difficulty going to work or maintaining relationships and you see the same pattern every fall or winter, you may want to reach out for help.
Your healthcare provider can help you determine if you’re struggling with SAD or another disorder, such as major depression or bipolar disorder. Knowing exactly what you’re dealing with will determine how to best treat and cope with it.
Once it has been determined that you are in fact dealing with SAD, your doctor or therapist will discuss ways you can cope with or manage your symptoms. The possibility of medication is always a last resort.
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