Let’s talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)! Most of us love this time of the year due to the holidays, spending time with family and loved ones. However, the change of seasons can cause significant alterations in your mood. Less sun, colder temps, and decreased social engagements/turn-ups can impact your mood if you are not careful. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can resemble depression, and you should be aware of the following signs.
- Feelings of fatigue and being tired all of the time
- Excessive sleeping or decreased ability to sleep
- Weight gain due to overeating or loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Not wanting to engage in activities or be around people that you once enjoyed
- Increased agitation, irritability, or anxiety
What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
- Serotonin Levels- Serotonin keeps us happy! With decreased sunlight comes decreased levels of the “happy” chemicals our brain naturally makes. Low levels of serotonin equal depressed mood.
- Disruption in sunlight affects our circadian rhythm/our internal clock! If your body’s biological clock is disrupted, sadness may pursue.
When should you seek help for SAD?
- Problems at school and work as a result of your symptoms
- Social withdraw from family and loved ones
- Increased use of substances to cope
- Thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or others