Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder


ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - There is a form of depression related to the changes of the seasons called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It occurs more frequently in the fall and winter months.

SAD often leads to moodiness and saps your energy. You shouldn’t brush off that yearly feeling of the “winter blues” that you are attempting to tough out on your own. It is important to take the necessary steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the entire year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can have several symptoms. The symptoms range from feeling depressed the majority of the day, losing interest in hobbies you once were involved in, dealing with lower levels of energy, sleeping problems, appetite or weight changes, sluggishness or agitation, concentration difficulties, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilty feelings or even dealing with suicidal thoughts. Less severe symptoms related to SAD can be oversleeping, changes in appetite and tiredness.

Treatments for SAD range from light therapy (phototherapy), to medications and also psychotherapy. Regarding light therapy, light can affect our biological clocks in our brains that can regulate circadian rhythms. After the “fall back” of Daylight Saving Time, earlier darker days occur and that can be a bit depressing, but fortunately, that only lasts until the winter solstice on December 21 which is when we begin to gain minutes of daylight back.

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