What is seasonal affective disorder? What are the usual symptoms associated with this? Read the post below from an overview of a naturopath in Bendigo near me.
As we move into spring, you might find yourself feeling like your mood is improving, that as the cold and dark of winter fades, your mood changes. Slight mood changes as the daylight hours shift are normal. But what if winter hit you hard? Have you felt down during winter?
Did it seem as if there was a significant change in your mood? Serious changes can occur to your mood as the seasons change. If you have noticed this and it has impacted how you feel, think, and partake in daily activities, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder – also known as SAD. This is a type of depression.
You might experience it during winter, have it gone during spring and summer, only to come back in fall. Or it may arrive in summer and go away as autumn turns into winter. You generally experience SAD for 4-5 months of the year.
Symptoms of Seasonal Depression
If you think you might be experiencing SAD, there are a few signs and symptoms that might give you a better idea. These are signs of the depression linked to SAD:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Problems with sleep
- Low energy, feeling sluggish or agitated
- Feelings of hopelessness of worthlessness
- Problems or difficulty with concentrating
- Thoughts of death
Winter-pattern SAD is linked to oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and social withdrawal. Summer-pattern SAD is linked with insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, restlessness, agitation, and anxiety.
If you feel like this applies to you and you want a specific diagnosis, you should talk to your health care provider. They can help determine if you are experiencing SAD and how to support you.
While SAD isn’t fully understood, there have been some links made as to why it happens. It is believed that there is an imbalance in serotonin and melatonin levels. This throws off both mood and disrupts your circadian rhythm – the driving force behind your body’s sleep-wake cycle. These changes reduce your ability to adapt to changing light levels and leads to changes in sleep patterns, behaviour, and mood.
Supporting Seasonal Affective Disorder
Some of the things your Naturopath may look at to help support you include:
- Supporting and uplifting your mood
- Helping re-establish and supporting your circadian rhythm
- Supporting the production and action of your neurotransmitters
- Correcting vitamin D deficiency