What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder or more commonly written as (SAD) is a subtype of depression that typically occurs during the autumn and winter months when daylight hours are shorter. There is also a less well known type of SAD which can happen during the summer, but this affects fewer people than SAD during the colder months. This mental health condition is characterized by a recurring pattern of depressive symptoms that start and end around seasonal changes.  

It is believed that SAD is related to the reduced exposure or overexposure to natural sunlight during these seasons, which can disrupt the body's internal biological clock and lead to imbalances in certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and melatonin.

Individuals with SAD often experience feelings of sadness, low energy, irritability, and a lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed. Understanding and addressing SAD is important for a person’s well being, as it can significantly impact one's quality of life during specific times of the year.

How to Spot Seasonal Affective Disorder

Spotting Seasonal Affective Disorder can be challenging, because its symptoms can overlap with those of other depressive disorders. However, there are several signs that may indicate SAD. People with SAD may experience a noticeable change in their mood and energy levels as the seasons change, typically feeling more depressed and fatigued in the winter and more irritable and anxious during the summer. They may also have cravings for carbohydrates and gain weight during the colder months and experience a loss of appetite during the summer months.

4 Ways to Relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder During the Winter

To manage the symptoms of SAD, whether in winter or summer, we recommend the below coping mechanisms. 

Naturally, if your symptoms persist and interfere with daily life, reach out to a mental health professional. They can provide guidance and treatment options tailored to your needs.

4 Ways to Relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder During the Summer

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