Future of us
Seasonal Affective Disorder
By- Riya Patel
Since it is that time of the year, I wanted to dedicate an article to this. Around late fall or early winter marks the start of Season affective disorder, also known as SAD as well as seasonal depression. I thought it was appropriate to talk about what seasonal depression is and educate individuals about the topic.
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal addictive disorder is a type of depression that occurs in between the seasons. It tends to begin and end about the same time every year. It is characterized as a mood disorder that takes place usually at the same time every year.
Why does this occur?
Depression in general happens to a person when major traumatic events happen such as stressful life events, and medical problems. Scientists and researchers say that the reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter is the main cause for seasonal affective disorder to occur. The decrease in sunlight may disrupt the body and lead to feelings of depression. Serotonin levels also play a major part when it comes to this. A release in serotonin, known as a vital hormone that balances and maintains your mood, emotions or well-being and happiness, plays a huge role in your day to day life.
What are some symptoms?
Symptoms vary person to person but for the most part signs of feeling depressed for most of the day and losing interest in day to day activities as well as having little to no energy. Also experiencing changes in your weight or appetite, feeling very tired and fatigue and feelings of worthlessness, and guilt may happen.
Risk factors and treatment options.
Seasonal depression tends to occur more frequently in younger adults than in older people. Also is diagnosed more in women. Some factors that come to play are your family history and if you’ve been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder. Something interesting I learned is that living far from the equator is also a risk factor. People who live far north or south of the equator appear to be more at a risk. Researchers think that this may be due to the decreased amount of sunlight during the winter and the longer days that occur during summer. Some ways your doctor may diagnose seasonal depression is through a physical exam, lab tests, and psychological evaluations. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder varies from psychotherapy, light therapy, and medications.
People may or may not show signs when it comes to depression. You should always be on the lookout for these following signs, substance abuse, school or work situations, social withdrawal and other mental health disorders or eating disorders. If someone you know feels or is giving signs of seasonal affective disorder encourage them to contact their doctor.
Here is a list of useful websites for further info.