Don't be SAD

Summer always goes fast and the season quickly changes. Autumn is just around the corner and you might start to feel a bit moody and tired when the weather gets colder and darker. Truth is you might just have SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder).

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with the change of seasons.

It is more common and it usually becomes more severe during winter. It starts with the coming of autumn when the nights become longer and there is less sunlight, and it gets aggravated in the winter. People affected by SAD show symptoms of depression, and this is likely to seriously affect their ability to cope with everyday life.

What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

The causes of SAD are not perfectly clear and it is usually a combination of them that leads to either a light or more severe disorder.

Research has shown that less light and a disrupted body clock can be two of the major suspects. You might also be low in serotonin levels, a hormone that people with depression have less of. It is possible that it is also caused by higher levels of melatonin. This is the sleep hormone and during the winter more of it is produced because of the extended darkness. However melatonin can’t be the cause of SAD on its own and the link between the two is unclear. Other grounds might be previous illnesses or a change in diet.

What are the symptons?

According to the NHS some of the symptoms that you may notice are light depression or having continuously low mood. You may be feeling lethargic, sleepy, and low on energy, that all lead to irritability.

It is also possible that you have a low libido, that you are not very willing to socialize, and that you have strong feelings of anxiety and gloom, like despair and discouragement. 

What should I do if I am SAD?

If you believe that you are struggling to manage the tasks of a normal day and you cannot cope with everyday routine as you did before, then it is possible that you are suffering from SAD. This is a good time to pay a visit to your GP and get advice about your concerns. If you are not dealing with such an intense case, then maybe you can follow some self-help tips to improve your life. Your GP can give you a few suggestions or you can find many ideas online on the NHS website.

What are the possible treatments?

The most active treatments include counselling and psychotherapy that are highly recommended when the problem is quite severe. There is also the option of antidepressants but in order to take them you should definitely discuss with your doctor first. Other ways to tackle the disorder are regular outdoor walks, especially when it is sunny, controlling stress levels, more exercise, adapting your diet, and meditation techniques.

So, next time you are feeling low during the winter season, you will know that you might just have SAD.

However, you are not to worry because at our Barchester homes, we always make sure to provide our individuals with the best care possible and our people are there for help and advice on any matter any time.