What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Not everyone embraces the changing seasons. In fact, some people suffer a form of depression each fall when the weather turns cold. This change is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Those who have experienced the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder know just how miserable it can be. It makes a few months seem like a long time. This condition has been linked to the lack of natural light that occurs in the fall and winter.
What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Studies have shown that people with symptoms may have a serotonin imbalance. This is a chemical in the brain that helps regulate moods. There are also indicators that show elevated melatonin and reduced vitamin D.
What are the Symptoms of SAD?
Symptoms that are associated with SAD include:
- Depressed thoughts
- Low energy levels
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Food cravings
Any of these can be an indicator of seasonal affective disorder.
How does weather affect your mood?
It is possible for people to experience SAD during the summer months, although it is most often felt during the winter. Cooler temps, wet weather, and minimal daylight during fall and winter generally mean people stay inside more often, become less social, and are exposed to less light.
What can you do about S.A.D.?
Our staff at MidValley can diagnosis and recommend treatment. Since light has proven to be the catalyst for higher spirts (by increasing vitamin D), a light therapy box can help by mimicking the natural rays of the outdoors on a bright sunny day. Talk therapy can also be useful to help decrease negative thoughts. Finally, TMS may be needed to help stimulate regions of the brain that have become inactive due to depression.
When to get help and what are the treatment options available at MidValley Healthcare?
Treatments at MidValley Heathcare are as unique as the person. We understand that life can be complicated and strive to help people get the help they need to discover a better quality of life. Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder should give us a call to schedule an appointment. We are ready to help you find happiness again.