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Are you SAD?


Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Do you go through mood and depressive changes this time of year?  Does the lack of sunlight, shortened days, getting off work and its dark affect you?  It affects many people, and they don’t even realize it.

How are you feeling….really?  Winter is about to move into full swing and there is less sunlight. If you notice that you aren’t feeling like your normal self, you are not alone!  3 percent of the American population have SAD.  Many people experience seasonal depression.  The further you are from the equator the higher the susceptibility of this condition.  In the UK a third of the population experience some form of SAD.  The lack of Vitamin D can cause what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder or a seasonal depression.  It is appropriately abbreviated as SAD.  Typically the symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer.

Signs and Symptoms of SAD may include:

·    Depression that starts and stops during a specific season.

·    Sudden loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

·    Sad mood or Low energy

·    Problems with sleeping-disruption of sleep cycle

·    Changes in your appetite or weight (gains or loss of weight)

·    Feeling sluggish or agitated

·    Difficulty concentrating

·    Feelings of worthlessness or guilty

It is normal to feel down sometimes.  If you start to feeling down for days at a time and you can’t seem to get motivated towards activities you once enjoyed, you may need to see someone.  It is very important to seek professional help if you notice changes in your weight or sleep patterns.

While the causes of SAD are unclear, there are some factors that may come into play:

·         Your biological clock – The reduced level of sunlight in fall/winter can cause changes to your biological clock.  This may lead to feelings of depression.

·         Serotonin levels – Less sunlight also means less serotonin produced by our body.  The drop in serotonin levels can trigger depression.

·         Melatonin levels – Changes in the seasons can also disrupt the body’s        level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

What can we do to impact Seasonal Affective Disorder:

·         Therapy to address depressive issues.

·         Mood lamps or SAD lights to eliminate SAD symptoms

·         Habit changes to prevent symptoms; time outside, walk, do things you enjoy.

·         Socialize with people you enjoy and care about (has a positive impact on Serotonin)

·         Redesign your happy place (Home should serve as a safe place to dream, recharge, and be 100% free to be yourself.

It is so important to seek help if you notice symptoms, because treatment can help prevent complications.  If you wait too long, you may experience serious disruptions in your normal life! Call us at 228-6194 if you feel that you need an evaluation! For more details, you can also visit: