Does Your Mood Change with the Season? Well You Might be Suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Do you exhibit some sort of depression on any particular season? Say for example, you have prolonged depression, sadness, and anxieties on any particular season, like summer or winter? Then you might be having Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

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Seasonal Affective Disorders, aka SAD, is a special type of depression which is related to the changes in seasons. It begins and ends at the same time every season and every year, more likely in a seasonal pattern. If you have any symptoms like this, then you might have to go to the doctor. 

People suffering from SAD often suffer from this issue during the winter. Less they face this problem during spring or summer. It will make you feel moody, draining out all your energy.

This particular disorder also got different names on the basis of its seasons, such as: Winter depression, winter blues, summer depression or simply seasonal depression.

Even any normal people with generally no other health or mental disorder can suffer from this depression. It is not only a mood disorder, but also a diagnosed major depressive disorder. The U.S. National Library of Medicine has noted that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, [may] have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.”

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Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): 

The symptoms range from basic feeling of depression to even severe suicidal thoughts. However these symptoms can vary on the basis of seasonal changes. But following are the common symptoms of every Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) victims:

Losing interest in everyday activities
Staying away from fun and entertainment
Low energy for work and other activities
Problems with sleeping
Feeling depressed nearly every day. 
Loss of concentration
Feeling hopeless
Feeling of despair 
Craving for more carbohydrates than needed and thereby gaining weight 
Having frequent suicidal thoughts

In addition to these, the symptoms during spring and summer include: 

Insomnia
Weight loss
Agitation
Feeling of anxiety
Poor appetite

Symptoms during the fall and winter: 

• Oversleeping than natural sleep
• Change in appetite
• Gain of weight 
• Tiredness
• Feeling lethargic, having low energy for performing daily tasks.

Changes can also be seen on people with bipolar disorder. For them, the spring and summer season can bring to them mania, rather hypomania, i.e. a less intense one. And for them, fall or winter can be a much depressed one.

Causes of SAD

There is no one particular reason behind the seasonal affected disease (SAD). Though any exact causes behind SAD is not yet understood properly, still there are some factors that can be taken under consideration

Circadian rhythm or body’s biological clock

Human body has its biological clock, which is associated with normal patterns of every day and night time. Any change in the biological clock can hamper individual’s lifestyle. During summer, people face long nights whereas on fall and winter people experience long nights and less sunlight. The decrease in the sunlight can in turn disrupt body’s biological clock, and hence leading them to have depression.

Production of serotonin

If the serotonin level drops, that will affect the mood. Serotonin is a type of hormone which is associated with a person’s mood. Reduction in sunlight can cause lower serotonin level, which in turn may affect mood, sleep and appetite. This can trigger depression.

Production of melatonin

Melatonin is associated with human’s sleep pattern. It is a hormone that can affect sleep. People with Seasonal Affective Disorder can produce higher melatonin levels than needed. And hence, it might make one feel more sleepy than usual.

There are risk factors involved in SAD. The disorder is seen more on women than on men. But no doubt, people irrespective of gender can be the victim of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The risk factors increases if the person suffering from this has a family history i.e. have family members of same blood; or if that person is living far away from the equator, that person is likely to experience longer and shorter days and nights based on season and it will worsen if that person is suffering from bipolar disorder.

Treatment and Diagnosis

There are wide ranges of treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) available. It needs to be diagnosed if you notice that your depression is prolonged on that particular season and it is intensifying as the season is reaching its climax. There are various kinds of treatments done against this disorder. Such as:

The physician will have a thorough check on your day to day lifestyle. Measures will be taken on the exercise, management of stress levels and amount of natural sunlight you are getting.

Talking therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Counselling are needed to be done.

• Person suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) requires more sunlight than person not suffering from the same disease. Light therapy is used for the recovery. The patients might be exposed to a special kind of lamp, called a light box which stimulates exposure to the sunlight.

Antidepressant medications are also applied on the victims for a recovery.

Comment(s):

Megan

23 Nov 2017 01:54 AM

A friend of mine suffers from SAD but his symptoms are more associated with the summer months and warm weather rather than the winter. www.megansays.com

Janey

23 Nov 2017 12:38 PM

Interesting article! I had no idea this was a thing!! Thanks for sharing... very informative! Www.timeaftertimebyj.com

Sarah

23 Nov 2017 03:54 PM

Wow, this is very interesting. I'd always figured that peoples' temperaments seemed to be related to seasons/ climate. And now here's the proof! Thank you :)


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