This time of year when the weather is cold, wet, and dreary, there are many days when we’d like to pull the covers back over our heads and stay in bed, rather than get out and face the day. We often loosely blame the winter months for our energy, leaving us tired, irritable, and moody. But did you know there is actually a very real, disabling form of depression that can take hold this time of year, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that follows the seasons. It has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and a lack of sunlight in winter. The experience of SAD can be more than a seasonal funk, but it is treatable. If you’re feeling down this winter don’t tough it out because it might lead to something more serious.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can significantly impair one’s quality of life, including overall health and mood. Symptoms usually begin in October or November and subside by March or April. December through February is often the toughest time, and holiday loneliness and stress can increase symptoms. Some symptoms of SAD are depression, irritability, inconsistent sleep schedule, increased appetite or weight gain, loss of energy, feeling unmotivated, and more. If these symptoms last for more than two weeks or your daily living is impacted, it might be time to look for treatment options.
Here are some ways to minimize your Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms:
There doesn’t have to be one solution to treating SAD, but our treatment options include you in the decision-making process. Take the time to figure out what works best for you this winter season, and know that you are not alone in your experience with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
If you or someone you know are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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