Seasonal Affective Depression: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
If shifts in weather affect your energy and make you feel pale and blue, you might suffer from Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD). It is depression that is triggered by weather, primarily winters.
The symptoms of SAD can be noticed in an individual in the fall and sometimes in spring and summer. This depression type is known as “reverse SAD”.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Depression
As the winter days lengthen and spring approaches, you might notice:
- A general low mood
- A Feeling of sadness and hopelessness
- Difficult to find motivation
- The trouble with remembering things
- Appetite or weight loss
- Feelings of anger
- Suicidal thoughts
If you have trouble recalling text payday loans repayments, or weather causing distress, then you should consult a psychologist.
What is SAD caused by?
SAD is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain caused by shorter days and limited sunlight in the wintertime. Individuals experience a change in their biological routine as the seasons’ change, disrupting their lifestyle.
SAD affects one in three people, according to independent.co.uk, and therefore, it is a serious condition that must be treated effectively.
Who is at risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Younger people and women are most commonly affected by SAD. Here are some symptoms or the conditions that might be at a higher risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Have mood disorders, such as depressive disorder
- If someone in the family has mental health conditions like depression or schizophrenia
- Live at higher latitudes
- Lives in a cloudy region
People having SAD might have other mental conditions like–anxiety disorder, eating disorder, panic disorder, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Treatments: How to Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Here are some ways you can manage and treat Seasonal Affective Disorder:
1) Consult your practitioner
Discussing your condition with a certified medical practitioner can help you ease up the symptoms and help you identify the ideal treatment for your situation. SAD is a treatable disease where practitioners provide resources and medications to help build resilience before it advances at its peak.
2) Consume Vitamin D in a good amount
However, finding motivation in seasonal depression can be hard, but you can still take plenty of steps to feel better. By adopting healthy routines and eating habits, you can feel better.
If possible, bathe in sunlight for like 15-30 minutes every day. Sunlight in winter helps boost serotonin levels in the body and helps improve your mood. To make this possible, you can:
- Take a walk to the coffee shop and sip one in the direct sunlight
- Open up windows and allow natural light into your rooms
- Paint walls in light colours. It will help combat winter SAD
Lack of proper light is one of the primary reasons for SAD, so light therapy or phototherapy help keep symptoms at bay. A lightbox generating at 10000 lux is impactful in treating and fighting off the disease. Prioritize having a white bulb instead of a blue or yellow one. Before purchasing one, ask the vendor whether it is purposely created for fighting off SAD or not. Check the one that filters out UV rays.
4) Practice Self-care
However, combating fatigue might seem a hard deal. Self-care is something that one should practice in this case. Indulge in activities and sessions that help you feel good. Undertake something you like to do in your spare time, like painting, reading books, meditation, etc.
Something that helps you feel relaxed and be you. Take time for yourself and dedicate a complete week to doing something that interests you and helps you get through the busy days.
Individuals affected by SAD try to divert their minds by engaging in other activities that hardly interest them and, thus it does not help improve the situation.
Thus, to ensure control of mood swings, adopt and engage in healthy habits like meditation, positive therapies, eating good, reading some good stuff that motivates you, and avoiding everything that makes you overthink.
5) Include more vitamin D in your diet
No matter how appealing it sounds, it is imperative to include more Vitamin D in your diet for betterment. Thus, resist the urge to eat oily or sugary food in winters or food with a high concentration of carbohydrates. It can affect health adversely physically and mentally. Carbohydrates can increase depression weight gain and thus increase SAD symptoms.
Thus, to overcome the disease includes more Vitamin D products in the diet like cow milk, orange juice, eggs, salmon, or fortified yoghurts. Change your diet during fall and get more exposure to sunlight to recover from SAD.
6) Take some time off to deal with stress
Stress can affect you throughout the year, and too much stress can lead to depression. Here is how you can do it:
a) Figure out things stressing out:
Identify the causes of unsupportive relationships minimize the impact of something that constantly distresses you. You can do the following things to overcome depression:
Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation.
b) Do things that make you happy
While you can’t force yourself to have fun, you can still concentrate on those things that make you feel happy. Having fun is a great stress buster, so make time for leisure activities like playing, playing the piano, simply hanging out with pals, sketching, singing, writing a few poems, etc.
7) Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
This therapy could be highly beneficial for people suffering from seasonal depression. The right therapist can help you curb negative thoughts, attitudes, and behaviour that make the disorder worse. It will help you adopt healthy ways to combat depression. For many individuals, CBT can prove helpful in treating seasonal disorders as it sans any anti-depressant. You do not have to spend all your guaranteed payday loan direct lender sum on the therapist. You can save some to plan a relaxing vacation- A MUST NEEDED ONE!
The doctors may suggest anti-depressants for SAD patients, which act on serotonin levels in the brain and help reduce SAD symptoms. Whatever treatment plan you settle for, it is critical to ensure self-care along with that for the utmost benefit.
If you are experiencing SAD, don’t worry! Follow the steps above, comment on your strategy for managing stress, and enjoy a relaxing trip to your favourite destination. It will help you stress out!