Having a seasonal affective disorder during the winter months can be frustrating. The symptoms include increased levels of fatigue, mood swings, and depression. However, there are several treatments that can ease the symptoms. The first step is to identify the issue.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Known as seasonal affective disorder, SAD can affect everyone at some point. The issue is triggered by a lack of sunlight, which can contribute to depression. Usually, people with SAD experience symptoms during the fall and winter seasons. In some cases, people with this disorder may also suffer from summer depression.
People with SAD have trouble regulating their body’s biological clock, which is responsible for mood and sleep. This can cause feelings of lethargy and fatigue. A lack of sunlight can interrupt this process, which leads to a change in the body’s hormones and serotonin levels.
Getting some natural sunlight can relieve seasonal depression. Keeping a healthy diet is also recommended. It is also a good idea to talk with a medical professional. They can determine if you are suffering from another health condition and can rule out other causes of depression. It is always best to rule out any medical issues first by speaking with your G.P and it can help you have a complete blood count done.
A therapist can help you to understand and treat your seasonal depression. They may use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to address the problems that arise from suffering from SAD.
People with SAD may experience major depression in certain seasons, they may also have depressive episodes in the summer and spring.
- Feeling lethargic
- Sleeping longer than usual
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite which usually can be a craving for carbs
- Low mood
- Less active than normal
- Feeling irritable
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling despair, guilt, worthlessness
- Loss of pleasure or interest
Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are similar to those of depression but are caused by less sunlight during the winter months. People who live in regions with shorter days and long nights are at higher risk of developing SAD. The symptoms of SAD often don’t subside until early spring.
Although it’s not known exactly why SAD occurs, it’s believed that the lack of light during the winter disrupts the body’s internal clock. In addition, a person’s vitamin D level drops during the winter, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue and sleep problems.
It’s important to get help for seasonal affective disorder if you’re experiencing these symptoms. A mental health specialist can help you identify the symptoms of the disorder and treat it. You may also be able to make a few lifestyle changes to boost your mood.
There are several treatments for seasonal affective disorder, including antidepressants and light therapy. In light therapy, you’re exposed to bright light during the day. The light helps to suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that affects your mood. Increasing your light exposure can also make you feel more energetic and alert. There are products available online which replicate sunlight and can help with SAD.
Cognitive behavioural therapy can be effective for seasonal affective disorder. This type of therapy works by changing negative thoughts into positive ones. This approach can be as effective as antidepressants, without a lot of the side effects.
Another option for treatment is to use a special light bulb that provides more natural daylight indoors. While this doesn’t work for everyone, it’s a good idea to try it at least once.
It’s important to note that light therapy should be used throughout the entire winter. It’s also best to take the time to get outdoors and see the sun each day.
About Kays Counselling
Kay’s Counsellors have years of experience gained from volunteering and working in private practices. They are all registered, qualified and experienced in supporting you through your issues. We have a range of different therapists offering counselling, psychotherapy, clinical psychology and EMDR to deal with a variety of different issues. All of our counsellors are located in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
Name: Kays Counselling
Phone No: 01216796200
Company: Kays Counselling
Country: United Kingdom
Address: 71 Vyse street , Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B18 6EX
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Scotland News journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.