Have you ever been in a situation where you are overcome with a cloud of depression?
A situation where you just cannot point out why you are feeling down in the dumps.
This is that kind of situation.
A seasonal affective disorder is one in which you are feeling depression but it takes over you due to seasonal changes.
This means it is not constant. It can happen to anyone at anytime.
SAD as what we call it in its short form is basically relating to when you are feeling down in the dumps, and can’t really pinpoint what is the reason for it.
But usually when talking about its onset, it takes place during the fall months and will continue to happen in winter.
Some people consider it as winter blues but is it more than that?
In this article, I am going to be sharing all the details relating to this condition and its onset.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
This is becoming one of the common kinds of depression out there.
People consider it as a condition in which you suffer from seasonal patterns of depression.
If you have SAD then it means you have symptoms which suggest that you are clearly in a zone of complete depression.
Mostly this happens because there is very little sunlight and all of these factors add up and make you feel even more gloomy.
So why does it even happen?
Its symptoms basically act up on you during the months of spring and summer. SAD can cause you to have depression and this usually stays and becomes stronger.
But the fact of winters and its effect can make you feel extremely more saddened and lost.
However trying to brush these feelings off is not the way. You need to look into and analyze why they happened.
So the first thing is to analyze and identify the symptoms.
Symptoms of SAD
It is a common condition whose onset is during late fall. And it can also continue in the other seasons also if not taken care of in a timely manner.
So what are the signs:
- You will be feeling sadness taking you over
- It is possible for you to get extremely down without any apparent reason
- Losing interest in simple activities happens
- You will also not enjoy things that you usually love
- Feeling sluggish is also a common feeling
- In some cases, you will also have issues when trying to sleep
- Carbohydrate cravings is also a common thing
- You will suffer from extreme weight gain
- Concentrating also becomes hard
- You will notice that you easily get distracted
- In some cases, you might also get a feeling of guilt
- Hopelessness can take over you
- In very severe and rare cases, it can also come to you not wanting to live
So what are the very precise symptoms which can take over you.
Fall and Winter SAD
When we look into the seasonal affective disorder which is touching upon these two seasons, they are also known as winter depression symptoms.
This will be including:
- Oversleeping- you will be completely losing the will to get something done in a timely manner. And it will be making more sense to you to just spend all your time in bed.
- Also your appetite will change. This means you will be suffering from high food cravings. This is that kind of food which has carbohydrates.
- There can be severe weight gain. This can be uncontrollable and will make you feel sick most of the times.
- Having tiredness for no reason is also a common SAD symptom. Despite having a good sleep, you can still suffer from tiredness.
- Low energy is also a really common symptom of winter depression. You don’t feel up to speed to do anything.
But what about the conditions and symptoms of SAD that take over during the spring and summer SAD?
These are similar but not as common and specific as to the kinds you see in winters. They include:
- Having trouble sleeping
- You will be subjected to a very poor appetite. This means you will be suffering from weight loss.
- In most cases you will be suffering from agitation and you will also be feeling anxious a lot. Anxiety becomes a very common state in this and will make you irritable to no ends.
- Also you may have sudden mood swings without a trigger or warning. And these can make you less productive and even more irritable.
So what are the reasons for this to happen?
Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder
There can be certain and specific behavior patterns which suggest you are suffering from this. But the exact causes are not known.
Some of the common factors which come into play:
Some people may not know this but this is one of the most common kinds of concerns which can lead to SAD. This is because you have severe stress and you worry over things and thing the worst possible outcomes.
All of this adds and leads to you being emotional and stressed over your condition and state.
They can be a cause and effect condition but this is still not confirmed and known in detail.
It is quite common that when there is a reduction in sunlight, it impacts your mood. This will also be disrupting your internal clock and make you depressed for longer hours.
If you are suffering form a drop in serotonin, this will definitely be impacting your mood too. This is a major brain neurotransmitter. It makes you feel completely off and will make you even more grumpy.
This is when you suffer from a behavioral change when there is a change in the season. It will be disrupting body’s balance of the melatonin level. That is also going to be making you have a shift in sleeping patterns.
What about any risk factors?
Let’s now look into those:
Risk Factors for SAD
With any clinical condition, there are some major factors which suggest why they may be happening to one person over another.
Identifying these are definitely going to be making your health better.
So here I am sharing some of the leading factors which increase your risk on suffering from the seasonal affective disorder. They include:
Family history is common. Those who have relatives suffering from SAD will be suffering from this form of depression.
Anyone who already is suffering from depression or a level of bipolar disorder is also likely to suffer from this condition. It is going to be making your health even worse.
Living far from the equator. While this may sound a little confusing, those who are closer to good and sunny climates will most likely be suffering from this state more than those who are situated in nice, warm locations.
Vitamin D is also a leading factor. Those who are vitamin D deficient will mostly likely be suffering from this state. This is also coupled with them having no sunlight and also not getting enough vitamins in a day.
You just have to make a practice to consume such foods often.
There can be several complications you may be prone to as well. We will now be talking about those.
When there are several signs and symptoms relating to SAD. There can be several complications to look into:
- You will be suffering from a complete social withdrawal. This will make you edgy and very sensitive.
- It is possible that you will be suffering from school or work problems. These are going to making you even more worried and stressed, adding to the situation even more.
- In some cases, a person can easily get involved in substance abuse. This is when you have absolutely no will to make a difference.
- Anxiety disorder is common also. You get anxious over the smallest of things.
- Eating disorder can also happen. This makes you even more prone to suffering from mental conditions.
- Suicidal thoughts can take over.
- There will be a visible shift in behavior pattern.
Seasonal affective disorder is one of the most common forms of depression.
It suggests when you are feeling completely down the dumps. And this onset is due to seasonal concerns.
The behavior takes place during the months of fall and winter. This is because there is a blockage of sunlight and that in itself can make you feel even more down the dumps.