Do you ever feel gloomy when the season changes? Or when the season became colder? You are not alone. Many people feel down or moody when the fall or winter season starts.
Mood changes in the colder seasons are not uncommon. It can be a winter blues or a more chronic condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that happens yearly at the same time. Generally, seasonal affective disorder begins when fall or winter starts and ends early in spring or summer. There is a rare seasonal affective disorder called summer depression. This kind of seasonal affective disorder onset in the summer and ends at the beginning of fall.
It is not clear why SAD happens to people. There is a theory that the amount of sunlight every season contributes to this mood disorder. Because fall and winter have less sunlight, the brain also produces less serotonin which regulates mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder usually happens to women more than men. Also, it rarely occurs in countries with an abundance of sunshine.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Sleeping more than usual and craving carbohydrates are typical symptoms of SAD. Additionally, they show many of the common symptoms of depression, such as:
- Feeling sad, irritable, or useless
- Energy is low
- Trouble concentrating
- An increased appetite
- Desire to be alone
- Thoughts of suicide
- Weight gain
How is Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnosed?
The following criteria must be met to be diagnosed with SAD:
- Symptoms of major depression or more specific symptoms must be present.
- For at least two consecutive years, depressive episodes must occur during specific seasons. It is important to note, however, that not all people with SAD experience symptoms every year.
- An individual must experience these episodes much more frequently than other episodes they may have had throughout their lives at other times of the year.
Help in Sugar Land, Texas
Mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder can lead to other problems. For example, a depressed individual can use alcohol or drugs to cope with depression. Before this happens, getting help to recover is the best option.
If you feel that you need help to battle your depression, Skyward Treatment is always available, reach out to our team of certified medical professionals today.