What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder usually affects people during fall and winter. It is also known as fall depression, or winter blues. People, who suffer of it, will start to lose appetite during this period, will have very low levels of energy, and will have problems sleeping.
It is a form of depression, but which occurs only in these periods of the year. In the majority of the cases, the symptoms are mild, but there are also cases when they are severe.
SAD usually occurs during the fall and winter, when the days are shorter. It has also been discovered that it is much more common in the colder regions of the world, regardless of the day length.
The symptoms are similar to the ones caused by depression. People who suffer of SAD will have very low moods, will not find pleasure in daily activities, and will be lethargic
Some of them have sleep problems; some might sleep too much, and some might not be able to sleep, it depends from person to person. Usually, people who suffer of SAD will have lots of energy during the spring and summer periods. It could be said that their amount of energy is excessive.
Even though there are certain theories about what triggers SAD, there isn’t a certain theory about these factors. It has been stated that in the case of the people who suffer of SAD, the levels of serotonin, the chemical which triggers happiness, reach low levels during winter and autumn.
It has also been suggested that during these two seasons, the levels of melatonin, which influences sleep and mood patterns, increase. The interesting thing is that SAD is still present, even when people take medicines against the secretion of melatonin. This means that SAD is caused by various factors.
What Are the Treatments?
The treatment is similar to the one for depression. In the majority of the cases, people can help themselves, by trying to get out of that state. For example, they might force themselves to go outside at least once per day.
They could also perform physical exercises, as that will help them with the blue state they are in. It is very important to talk to someone about it, because it will allow you to get over the problem much faster.
There are certain talking therapies people can take, in order to make things better for themselves.
In case these solutions do not work, then people could go to the doctor, in order to receive medicines for depression. Since SAD takes place only during fall and winter, medication is required only when the problem is very severe.
It is important for people to take the medications in the manner prescribed by the doctor.