Seasonal Affective Disorder: What You Need To Know
Is seasonal affective disorder real? Yes, of course.
Many people suffer from it as the season changes. It can cause depression, sadness, less energy, trouble sleeping, etc. type of symptoms throughout the season. But the good news is, treatments for seasonal affective disorder are available. It depends on the symptoms you are experiencing, whether it is mild or severe.
Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in East New York at Doral Health & Wellness or log on to www.doralhw.org.
Keep reading to get insights into seasonal affective disorder.
What is seasonal affective disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder is a condition where a person experiences mood changes according to the season. Usually, they feel sad, depressed, and low on energy as a particular season starts and feel normal again as the new season begins.
What exactly causes this condition is still unknown. Scientists believe different factors can cause this condition including:
- Brain chemical imbalance: This condition mostly occurs in fall or winter when sunlight is less. Sunlight helps in the production of serotonin in the brain. This chemical is a neurotransmitter that is used to send signals between nerves and regulates your mood. Normal levels of serotonin can make you calmer, happier, focused, and emotionally stable. Less production of serotonin creates a chemical imbalance which can make you sad, emotionally unstable, difficulty focusing, etc., and all of these are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. It is found that this condition is less in countries where there’s plenty of sunshine throughout the year.
- Biological clock (Circadian rhythm): A lack of sunlight in winter affects your biological sleep-wake-up clock. This internal clock helps to regulate your mood, sleep, and hormones. This clock shift can happen due to the overproduction of melatonin. Melatonin is produced when there is less light, so this clock shift can make you depressed, and increase your sleep time. You might start sleeping during the day too.
- Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is particularly important for the production of serotonin in the brain. As vitamin D is made by your body with the help of sunlight you need to get more sunlight to make vitamin D and serotonin. And this can be a reason for low mood and depression as the season changes.
- Melatonin boost: Like serotonin, melatonin helps to change your mood. But low production of serotonin increases the production of melatonin which can increase your sleep and make you tired.
- Negative thoughts: As winter starts people start having negative thoughts of having a fragile body, needing too many clothes to keep themselves warm, not being able to go out at night, etc. these stressful and negative thoughts are the reason for their seasonal depression.
This condition is a type of depression. Its symptoms start at the beginning of the season and stay until the beginning of the next season. Symptoms can be different for people whose conditions change according to a specific season.
Symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) associated with depression include:
- Having sadness and depression throughout every day.
- Lose interest in the activity you once enjoyed
- Change in eating patterns craving and eating more carbohydrates which leads to weight gain.
- Feel sluggish and low on energy.
- Trouble with sleep. Sleeping way too much.
- Feeling hopeless
- Having trouble concentrating.
- Having suicidal thoughts or death.
- Feel irritated or agitated
Symptoms that people experience in winter pattern SAD include:
- Sleeping too much (hypersomnia)
- Overeating and sudden weight gain especially experiencing cravings for carbohydrates.
- Tiredness and low energy.
- Social withdrawal is like hibernating period
Symptoms that people experience in summer and spring pattern SAD include:
- Sleeping too little. (insomnia)
- Poor appetite which leads to weight loss.
- Anxiety and agitation
- Episodes of violent behavior
To diagnose, this condition doctor evaluates your symptoms and runs some tests to make sure that those symptoms you are experiencing are not from another disease.
If you have had SAD for the past 2 years, then your symptoms start when the season changes, you don’t experience those symptoms during other seasons, and you never experience depression or mania over all these years in your life.
To confirm that you’re experiencing SAD not just other types of depression like bipolar depression, these tests are used:
- Physical exam: The doctor runs a physical exam to check your health. To make sure that your depression is not linked with any other health problem.
- Blood or thyroid tests: These tests are used to check your organs and their functionality.
- Psychological test: To check your depression, the doctor asks about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, or behavior patterns. You may need to fill out a questionnaire so that the doctor understands your thinking patterns and focus.
If you are looking for treatment options, Doral Health and Wellness has the best Doctors and Psychiatrists that specialize in Behavioral health make accurate diagnoses, and craft tailored treatment programs. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.
In order to schedule a consultation with the best Mental health Clinic in East New York, please call 1-347-384-5690 or visit www.doralhw.org.
So why worry? Call us, get the treatment, and live a happy life!!!!