Seasonal affective disorder aka SAD .
A lesser known depression , or so I have found in my experience.
I personally don’t suffer from SAD but I do know a few people who do .
SAD doesn’t just mean you’re just sad in certain seasons . It genuinely means you get depressed as the darker seasons come in .
This is due to the change in weather .
SAD comes around when there is less sunlight .
Symptoms of SAD can include:
A persistent low mood
A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the daysleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
Here’s a few little facts I have found about SAD and what causes it .
The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:
Production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
Production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression
Body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) –your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD
It’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families.
So how can you treat SAD ?
There are many ways .
The main treatments are:
Lifestyle measures, including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels
Light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight
Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling , antidepressant medication, such asselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Studies have also shown that upping your intake of vitamin D and Omega 3 can help you and SAD .
So salmon is highly recommended for Omega 3 🙂
Other foods like Berries are also recommended . They help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland.
When stressed, cortisol heads towards your hippocampus, a major portion of the brain that stores memories, provides emotional responses, and navigation.
And Bananas are also recommended as a way to help SAD.
Although SAD is seasonal , it should still be treated like any other depression , when it comes to others .
Just because people don’t suffer with it for 12 months a year , does not mean that they don’t have depression , or that they don’t understand it .
I found it interesting reading up on SAD and learning a little about it .
I now know a little more about my friends illnesses .
I thought I would blog as I went along 🙂
I hope this is somewhat helpful to others too .
Thanks for reading !!