Have you ever suddenly felt sad or sad when it was winter or cloudy? Cold weather can not only interfere with activities outside the home, but can also affect your mood. In winter, some people can be more moody than usual. In severe cases, a person can experience depression every time it enters winter. This condition is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Don’t just think of it as a bad mood, S.A.D needs to be addressed so that your mood and motivation is maintained throughout the year.
What is Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D is a type of depression associated with changing seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. Usually this happens from late fall until the end of winter. This is also known as winter pattern SAD or winter depression. In more severe cases, some people may experience depressive episodes during the spring or summer. This is called summer pattern SAD or summer depression.
Not only does SAD cause unusual feelings of sadness, SAD can also affect a person’s thoughts and behavior in daily activities. So, if you notice significant changes in your mood and behavior each time you enter winter or the rainy season, you may have seasonal affective disorder.
What Causes S.A.D?
The exact cause of SAD is still unknown, but some scientists suggest that certain hormones are produced deep in the brain. This hormone triggers attitude-related changes at certain times of the year. Experts believe that seasonal affective disorder may be related to these hormonal changes.
While another theory says that less sunlight during the fall and winter causes the brain to make less serotonin. It’s a chemical linked to brain pathways that regulate mood. When the nerve cell pathways in the brain that regulate mood do not function normally, the result is feelings of depression accompanied by symptoms of fatigue and weight gain.
SAD usually begins in early adulthood and is more common in women than men. Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD is associated with a lack of sunlight during winter. This mood disorder is rare in countries with a lot of sunshine throughout the year.
Recognize the Symptoms of SAD
In most cases, the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) begin in late fall or early winter. It will disappear as you enter the sunny days of spring or summer. Although rare, there are also people who experience symptoms of SAD in the spring or summer. In both cases, symptoms may initially be mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
The following are the signs and symptoms of SAD:
- Feeling depressed most of the day and most of the day.
- Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy.
- Having problems with sleeping.
- Have a change in appetite or weight.
- Feeling lethargic or restless.
- It’s hard to concentrate.
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty.
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
While the symptoms specific to SAD that appear in winter, include:
- Sleep too much.
- Changes in appetite, especially the desire to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates.
- Weight gain.
- Fatigue or low energy levels.
While symptoms specific to summer SAD include:
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Bad appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Agitation or anxiety.
How to deal with Seasonal affective disorder(SAD)
Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy, medication and psychotherapy. If you also have bipolar disorder, tell your doctor, as light therapy and antidepressants can trigger manic episodes.
Doctors will also advise people with SAD to go out in the morning. This is done so that the sufferer gets more sunlight, especially on a sunny day. Eating a healthy diet is also important for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD). When experiencing the disorder, you may want to eat more sugary foods and carbohydrates. But also try to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables.
In addition, staying active or exercising regularly is also a powerful way to overcome SAD. Dr Andrew McCulloch, former chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, revealed that vigorous exercise can help in dealing with SAD. Exercising for 30 minutes three times a week has been shown to be effective against depression. While light exercise will also provide beneficial benefits.