Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called SAD, is a seasonal depression that tends to come during the colder months. With treatment and coping mechanisms, you can begin to enjoy your days again – no matter the season!
You may have noticed a draining, dim, and uninspiring feeling that comes along with the rainy and colder months. When the snow piles up and you’re snowed in your house for days; or when you finally clock out from your workday, and the sky is as dark as midnight. There may be something looming over you, and it may not be the next storm cloud.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called SAD, is a seasonal depression that tends to come during the colder months. While SAD can affect a person during any season, it most frequently occurs during the fall and winter, when the days are shorter and the sun sets earlier.
There are several contributing factors as to why someone may develop SAD. Because SAD typically comes with the change of season, factors that may influence your mood include:
Symptoms may differ depending on the time of the year you experience SAD. General symptoms of this disorder include:
Feeling a little down occasionally is part of daily life, however, if you experience depression for an extended period of time, or have thoughts about death or suicide, don’t wait to speak with your health care provider. There are several treatment options for Seasonal Affective Disorder that you can discuss with your physician. These treatments may include:
Light therapy – exposure to light that mimics sunlight, usually administered within the first hour you are awake during the day. This can cause a change in chemicals in the brain that are linked to mood, and help you feel more motivated, and less depressed.
Medications – antidepressants or antianxiety medications prescribed by your doctor may help during your SAD episodes.
If you are suffering with SAD, speak with your health care provider. Your provider may perform a physical exam, laboratory tests and discuss your symptoms with you. With treatment and coping mechanisms, you can begin to enjoy your days again – no matter the season!
You can come into any Patient First center from 8 am 10 pm at any day of the year - no appointment needed.
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