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Seasonal Adjustment Disorder

Hello everybody. I’ve had a bit of a break from writing blogs over the Summer, but I am back at it now and thought I’d explore SAD, or Seasonal Adjustment Disorder as it also known.

Most of the schools are either back already or go back next year, so that can only mean one think, Summer is coming to a close and the seasons are moving on. We still have Autumn to ease us all into Winter but when Winter arrives it can bring a gloomy mood for some people. It can make us crave stodgy foods, notice changes in energy levels and a need to sleep more

What is SAD?

If the shifting seasons have seemed to affect you this way, then you might have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

SAD can be described as a form of depression that's related to the change in the seasons. As daylight hours get shorter in Autumn and Winter, some of us who are affected by SAD start feeling down in a way that can affect our daily lives.

Seasonal affective disorder symptoms

SAD shares common symptoms with major depression, such as feeling hopeless and having trouble concentrating. However, people with SAD also tend to have other symptoms. These include:

  • Overeating

  • Gaining weight

  • Feeling sluggish

  • Oversleeping

No one has been able to determine what causes SAD, but there is a theory that believes a disrupted "biological clock"—or circadian rhythm—may be to blame. Limited daylight during the Autumn and Winter months could potentially affect the body in many ways that could contribute to SAD.

Light therapy to treat SAD

One possible option to help with SAD, is light therapy. Some people can find relief by using a special bright light for about a half hour each morning as a way to make up for the lack of sunlight during Autumn and Winter. This seems to alter the brain chemicals that regulate your mood and help to alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD.

If you're interested in trying light therapy, you can purchase a light therapy box. Look for a model that's been specifically designated for the treatment of seasonal depression.

More ways to lift your mood

Light therapy is just one option, there are other ways that could help to lessen the symptoms of SAD:

  • Try to get outside or soak in some sunlight through windows. A vitamin D deficiency can be related to SAD, and sunlight can help.

  • Be more active. Exercise can help you feel better.

  • Spend time with others. It may be harder to be social when you're depressed, but being alone can make you feel worse.

  • Talk with a health care professional about whether medication might be right for you if the more practical steps don’t work.

Try to remember that the Winter won’t last forever, it will pass eventually and don’t forget to reach out to others and let them know how you’re feeling, if you feel able x

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