Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of mood disorder. It is characterized by recurring episodes of depression. These episodes of depression typically occur during specific seasons of the year. It most commonly occurs during summers or winters. It is also called winter depression or winter blues as it is more common in winter due to less exposure to sunlight.
5 common symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
People affected by SAD may suffer from insomnia. During winters, our body is very less exposed to sunlight. This can have a direct impact on the circadian clock causing insomnia.
Mood swings are a symptom of SAD. It may last for a long time in some people while for others it may experience erratic fluctuation.
The person doesn’t feel motivated at all to do any work. Some might also lose interest in day-to-day activities.
People with SAD feel like going in a shell and rarely feel like being around anyone. It is a mental health condition and most people deal with it by being alone.
The person may feel drained all the time as less sun and light exposure, produce less amounts of melatonin. The hormone not only helps us sleep but also boosts energy. Reduction in melatonin can lead to lethargy.
There are several effective treatments for SAD, including light therapy exposure to a bright light source that mimics natural sunlight, psychotherapy- such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, and medications-usually antidepressants.
Lifestyle changes, such as increasing exposure to natural light, regular exercise, and managing stress, can also help alleviate symptoms.