What is Seasonal Depression?

The winter months are often the hardest months for many people. It’s not necessarily the unbearable cold or the sludgy roads, and has more to do with the lack of sun and the overwhelming sense of hopelessness that grips your very soul. Are you feeling a little SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder plagues many individuals. If you feel moody and sad, with your energy sapped, through fall and until the warm spring sun comes and thaws out the ground, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD).



Like we mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms manifest themselves sometime during fall, and relieve themselves sometime in the spring or summer, once the sun has made a regular appearance. Often, the symptoms start out mildly, and then get stronger the longer the cold season lasts. Here are a few common symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:

-Feeling depressed for the majority of the day, on most days

-Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty

-Problems sleeping

-Drastic changes to weight or appetite

-Loss of interest in your daily activities

-Lack of energy/low energy

-Feeling sluggish or agitated

-Difficulty concentrating




So, what causes Seasonal Affective Disorder? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear reason as to what causes SAD. There are a few factors that could contribute, though.

-Your biological clock. Otherwise known as your circadian rhythm. The reduced amount of sunlight can throw this off, and this decrease of sun can make you feel depressed.

-A drop in your serotonin levels could also cause Seasonal Affective Disorder. Reduced sunlight can cause this drop.

-This changing season can also disrupt the balance of your body’s level of melatonin, which will then disrupt your sleep patterns and affect your overall mood.


When to go and see a doctor


You should go and see a doctor, and seek help, if you are so unmotivated that you struggle to get out of bed, find no joy in things you normally love, and feel down for many days in a row. If you have significant changes to your appetite or weight, you should definitely schedule a visit to your healthcare professional.


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