As we move into the fall and winter months, you may find rainy days and gray skies weighing you down. An estimated 10 million Americans experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) each year, with most people feeling the symptoms starting in late fall and lasting through winter. If you think you may be one of them, read on to learn more and find out how you can get your mood back on track.
What is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression linked to changes in the seasons. While the exact causes of SAD are unknown, it’s possible that the changes in seasons (such as length of day and amount of natural light) disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and change its levels of important chemicals like serotonin and melatonin. While these changes cause nothing more than “winter blues” in some people, in others they can trigger depression.
How do I know if I have SAD?
The symptoms of fall and winter SAD may include oversleeping, changes in appetite and weight gain, and lack of energy. If, with the arrival of cold weather, you feel depressed most days, no longer take an interest in things you normally enjoy, have a hard time concentrating, and/or feel hopeless or worthless, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder.
What can I do if I have SAD?
SAD is a treatable condition and can be improved through light therapy, talk therapy, medication, or a combination thereof. Treatments like these can help you maintain a positive and balanced mood throughout the changing seasons. If you think you may be experiencing SAD, contact us to make an appointment with a member of our team. Our experienced therapists can work with you to help you take back control of your life, manage the symptoms of your condition, and feel happy all year round.