Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD)

This winter has been unusually cold and cloudy. We’ve had an incredible amount of snow in January and February, and according to the 14-day forecast, more is to come. Many people love this weather and thrive during the colder months.

However, there are many on whom this weather really takes a toll. It can be discomfort or dislike, or it can be more intense, causing low energy and mood issues.

According to Mayo Clinic: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

While the specific causes of SAD are unknown, most research points to the effect reduced sunlight has on your body, causing disruption to your circadian rhythm and seratonin (mood) and melatonin (sleep) levels.

Treatment includes light therapy, talk therapy, herbal supplementation and, in extreme cases, medication.  

If you are wondering if you or a loved one might be suffering from SAD, give us a call!