Are Your Winter Blues Actually SAD Disorder?
All winter long we are made to believe that the season is joyous for everyone. So what happens when you can’t relate? You could be someone who suffered a loss during the holidays or simply aren’t one to celebrate. Maybe you believe that consumer spending only helps corporations like Amazon, and what we buy doesn’t contribute to our long term happiness. If you’ve been feeling depressed, losing interest in activities you love, or you’re exhausted, it may not be the typical blues; You could be experiencing the symptoms of SAD, better known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Over 10 Million people in the US are diagnosed with SAD, but at least another 20% report experiencing a mild case. Interestingly enough, SAD is four times more likely to be experienced by women than men. People affected by the condition state their symptoms begin in the fall when we start to have extended darkness and increased cloud cover during the day. Doctors are unsure of what explicitly causes SAD, but many associate it with a person’s biological need for sunlight and the chemicals it produces in the body.
A person diagnosed with SAD will experience all of the symptoms of Major Depression tied to the winter months. People with a family history of depression, who live far North or South of the Equator are likelier to develop the condition. If you think you may be struggling with SAD, you are not alone, and there are a lot of ways to help. The first step is to speak with your doctor; they will help you understand the way your body is personally affected.
Secondly, there are a lot of products on the market that could help manage the symptoms. Several of my friends own UV Lamps or Sunrise Alarm clocks to help regulate their circadian rhythm. Others utilize the endorphins released from exercising. Self-care is a large part of getting on track with SAD. Overall, it’s more than okay to feel down, but If it’s getting in the way of experiencing life on your terms, then I hope this reaches you with understanding and compassion.