Seasonal Affective Disorder
The arrival of autumn and winter is an exciting time of seasonal changes and family holidays! Often a change from the heat is welcomed. However, as winter progresses, less sunlight reaches us during the day. The icy temperatures and short, light-dimmed days can often hide a more concerning problem.
During the winter months, see if you have experienced any of the following:
Sad, anxious or ``empty`` feelings
Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Fatigue and decreased energy
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
Changes in weight
Thoughts of death or suicide
These manifested symptoms can sometimes cause a temporary depression psychologists call Seasonal Depression Disorder. Many sufferers are completely unaware that what they are experiencing is a real, medically-based problem with treatment options!
Now if you said yes to one or more of these symptoms, don’t panic! We all experience a slight change in mood during the upcoming seasons that may appear as the symptoms above. Though common, the presence of these symptoms are not cause to assume you may suffer from SAD.
As with all psychological disorders, it is important to refrain from any formal diagnosis before seeking the professional opinion of a mental health professional. That professional will evaluate your symptoms based on the degree to which one is experiencing them and how many of the symptoms you are experiencing.
If you or someone you know has concerns about SAD or thinks they may be suffering from SAD, call our office today to schedule a free evaluation and learn what treatment options are available to you.
‘Light Ray’ therapy, mental health therapy, and medication are just some of the techniques that can improve the lifestyle of a person with SAD. In the hands of a mental health professional, SAD can be effectively treated.
Resources and More Information:
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
- All About Seasonal Affective Disorder (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Light Therapy Boxes for Seasonal Affective Disorder(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Psychotherapies (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder Sufferers Have More Than Just Winter Blues(American Psychological Association)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: For Teens(Nemours Foundation)Also in Spanish
- gov: Seasonal Affective Disorder (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine):
- Article: Patient Education: Wintertime Recharge.
- Article: State of the art psychopharmacological treatment options in seasonal affective…
- Article: A PERIOD3 variant causes a circadian phenotype and is associated…
- Seasonal Affective Disorder — see more articles
- Seasonal affective disorder (Medical Encyclopedia)