Beating the Winter Blues & Seasonal Affective Disorder
This month, we will be focusing our content on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression related to the changes in the seasons. During the winter months, reduced levels of sunlight and Vitamin D affect the serotonin levels and melatonin production in the brain. This biochemical imbalance has been linked to depression. The effect of SAD varies in degree and disproportionately affects women with the main timeline of onset between the ages of 20-30.
Symptoms of SAD may include diminished interest in activities, apathy, increased anxiety, extreme mood changes, sleeping problems, overeating, irritability, low-energy, and issues getting along with other people. These symptoms are recurring and begin/end at about the same time each year.
If you feel down for extended periods of time during these winter months and experience significant changes to your appetite and sleep patterns, we suggest consulting a medical professional. With that being said, it is normal for all of us to feel down some days. A mild version of SAD is typically referred to as the “winter blues.” Some methods to boost your mood may include exercising, increasing the lighting in your home and your time outside, journaling, and spending time with friends and family. Do you experience some degree of SAD? How do you beat the “winter blues?”
We want to hear from YOU! Tell us about your experiences with seasonal depression and we will share your stories throughout the month!