It’s officially pumpkin season, darkness comes at 5 p.m., and strictly Come Dancing (opens in new tab) Television is back – which, of course, screams comfortable weather, but it also means that about a quarter of the UK will start experiencing SAD. So, what is seasonal affective disorder? And how do you know you have it?
Otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression, around two million people in the UK and twelve million across Northern Europe are affected by SAD, according to NHS figures.
FYI, anyone can experience SAD, but those most at risk are women between the ages of 18 and 30.
This is according to Bisma Anwar, a Talkspace licensed therapist, and mental wellness expert and co-founder Anton Kotelnikov. afterglow app (opens in new tab),
You may have heard about it – but what exactly is seasonal affective disorder? Keep sliding
So, what is seasonal affective disorder?
In short, SAD is a type of low-grade depression that results from changes in the seasons. This usually happens as the days get shorter and darker.
As Anavar expands, you will usually notice symptoms because they are similar to symptoms of depression and are greater in the autumn and winter months.
11 Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Symptoms may include:
- the sadness
- trouble sleeping
- trouble concentrating
- Excessive fatigue
- Low energy
- social withdrawal
- eat more or less
- and restlessness, among others.
What is the best way to treat SAD?
Opt for Light Therapy
There are some effective ways to treat seasonal affective disorder.
An alternative is trying light therapy, where you sit near a “light therapy” box, shares Anwar. “The Light Therapy Box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light,” he continues.
Use this: It is best practice to use a light therapy box for at least 30 minutes daily, shares the therapist. “Light therapy affects brain chemicals associated with mood and sleep and may also help with other types of depression and sleep disorders,” he adds. Scroll through our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks (opens in new tab)Here.
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Anwar explains that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that can help identify and challenge negative thought patterns.
“It can help change these negative patterns, especially those related to dislike for winter,” he explains. “CBT can help to deal with the winter time consistently and to engage in activities that reduce anxiety.”
Not sure about medicine? online therapy (opens in new tab) Might be an easy step. Read our guide here.
Try Vitamins and Supplements
Certain vitamins and natural supplements may help ease the symptoms of SAD, shares Physician. “Taking vitamin D supplements can help with low levels of vitamin D that may be caused by low dietary intake of this vitamin or low exposure to sunlight,” he shares. “In addition, melatonin supplements increase brain melatonin and suppress the secretion of cortisol. This helps regulate sleep patterns.”
Read our guide on how much vitamin D to take per day during the winter (opens in new tab)Here.
5 signs you’ve been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, not just the day-to-day winter blues
1. Your symptoms begin to affect your day-to-day
If the symptoms mentioned above begin to affect how you can function day-to-day, you may be experiencing something more serious than just the winter blues or feeling sad, shares Anwar. .
2. You have SAD . have a family history of
Individuals with a family history of SAD, or other types of depression, may also be at higher risk of developing this disorder, shares the therapist.
“Research, published in Brain (opens in new tab), a journal of Neurology, found a link between levels of serotonin — a chemical that nerve cells in the brain produce — and wintertime SAD,” explains the therapist. “Symptoms of depression, especially in those who have already had a high propensity for these types of disorders. , increases in the winter months as serotonin levels decrease. This, and other similar research, demonstrates a biological basis and risk for SAD.”
3. You experience your symptoms for more than two weeks straight
Have you experienced symptoms for most days and for more than two weeks? Then it’s time to talk to your doctor.
4. You have difficulty carrying out day-to-day responsibilities
If you have difficulty keeping track of your responsibilities and are unable to perform at work or school, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on.