Understanding the Impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

By November 13, 2018General Health
Understanding the Impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

During gloomy, dark, or dismal weather, many people experience a decrease in serotonin, resulting in feelings of depression, fatigue, and/or moodiness. Most individuals experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, symptoms first feel them in the fall, typically lasting during the darker months of winter. How can you recognize and resolve the impacts of this seasonal condition?

Gain a better understanding and learn to cope with SAD:

Be wary of Daylight Savings time.

Know that Daylight Savings time changes can have a significant impact in SAD symptoms. When the days get shorter – even by an hour- it can result in mood shifts and increased depression. Particularly when the clocks are first turned-back in fall, the days seem darker, which can trigger SAD among those living in these regions.

SAD runs in the family.

Did you know that SAD can run in the family? When it comes to risk factors, genetics play a role and you are more inclined to suffer with SAD if there is a history of mood disorders in your family.

Women are more likely to experience SAD.

If you are female, you are four-times more likely to experience seasonal depression and SAD. The theory is that women are more contemplative typically, which may trigger symptoms.

Geography contributes to SAD.

Your geographic location and how close you are to the equator come into play when looking at risk factors for SAD. Shorter days equate to an increased chance of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Make time for sun, year-round.

A sure-fire way to fend-off symptoms of SAD is to get outside in the sunshine – even if the temperatures are chilly. It is estimated that 15 minutes outside can help your mood, reducing the severity or frequency of symptoms. Can’t stand the cold? Consider getting a sun lamp or light box for winter months.

Get your Vitamin D.

Supplement your diet with Vitamin D; Vitamin D can help overcome SAD symptoms. Enjoy fish, yogurt, eggs, grains, and fortified milk for a healthy dose, and cut-down on sugar, too.

Maintain a routine.

The best way to prevent or minimize SAD symptoms is to maintain a normal routine. Make a schedule and stay on track to help combat sleep issues and fatigue that can accompany a depressed mood.

Go someplace warm.

Another approach to SAD is to get out of town during the coldest time of the year. Book a trip somewhere sunny, which will also give you something positive to look forward to.

Know the signs of SAD.

Learn to recognize the signs of a problem. Some typical symptoms of SAD are:

  • Feelings of depression most days.
  • Low-energy and motivation.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Fatigue and sluggishness.
  • Agitation and irritability.
  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing.
  • Thoughts of suicide.

If you are feeling suicidal or thinking about harming yourself, seek medical attention immediately. When SAD interferes with the activities you normally enjoy, it is time to see your provider. Talk to your doctor about medications, treatment, and therapy that may reduce your symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Feeling blue? Could you be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder? Talk to your providers and caregivers about overcoming seasonal depression. Looking for compassionate in-home care? Talk to the professionals with over 23 years of experience at Caring Healthcare assisting the elderly, children, and disabled near Columbia, SC.