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What is Seasonal Depression?

January 10, 2020

 

Have you ever felt like fall or winter just brings down your mood? Has it caused you to become moody? Do not feel like you are the only one. Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is very common. There are over 3 million individuals in the world that have been diagnosed, but there may be even more people that have it and just do not know it. If you feel like you have it, do not brush it off, instead read through what you can do about it!

CAUSES

The cause is currently unknown, but there has been research done that supports the fact that less light can have an affect. There is also another theory saying that, “brain chemicals (neurotransmitters such as serotonin) that transmit information between nerves may be changed in people with SAD” (Cleveland Clinic, 2016)

SYMPTOMS

To begin, SAD is most common in late fall and early winter, but it varies for everyone within these months. Some people are hit hard with it right away, others feel like it gets worse as it goes on, and some do not even get it until spring time. Some symptoms that come with this disorder are

-A feeling of depression a majority of the day

-Losing interest in activities that you loved or at least enjoyed doing

-Low energy

-Trouble sleeping

-Changes in your weight or appetite (majority experience overeating and weight gain)

-You feel like you are sluggish or agitated

-Cannot concentrate or have difficulty concentrating

-Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilty

-Frequent thoughts of death or suicide. 

RISK FACTORS

Many will think that SAD can come from family history, which it can, but that is not the only factor. Some other factors can increase your risk of developing SAD are:

-Gender: Females are four times more likely to develop SAD than men

-Location: Living farther away from the equator can increase your chances since you 

     can experience less light 

-Age: It is more common to occur in children, teens, and young adults rather than 

          older adults. 

TREATMENTS

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, here are some things you can try in order to resolve the situation or reduce the symptoms: 

-Light therapy 

-Medications

-Psychotherapy 

-Vitamin D. 

 

Remember Seasonal Depression is one of the most common disorders in the world. Do not deal with this alone. Find a friend, teacher, or family member to talk to and ensure you do not spend time locked in your bedroom. Ensure that you are eating a well balanced meal, doing light therapy, and continuing to do the things you enjoy! 

 

“Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education 

and Research, 25 Oct. 2017, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health 

and Human Services, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml.

“Seasonal Depression (SAD).” Cleveland Clinic, 

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9293-seasonal-depression.

 

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