The grey winter days could make you feel blue, according to some researchers. Seasonal affective disorder could stand behind your depression. SAD is associated with the lack of light and it is usually linked to winter and autumn.
SAD is also known as winter blues, winter depression, seasonal depression and summertime sadness. Although experts were skeptical when the concept was first talked about, it is now recognized as a disorder. Its symptoms include little energy, depression, the need to sleep more than normal amounts of time and heightened anxiety.
Pamela Gionfriddo, from the Mental Health Association in Palm Beach says that when the sunny weather changed to stormy or rainy weather, people started feeling demoralized and they didn’t even know why. That was until now.
According to the American Family Physician, the seasonal affective disorder affects 5% of the United States population. The combination of mood and biological changes occurs more on higher altitudes regions, where the days are shorter. More women are affected by it than men, with 4 women to 1 man suffering from SAD. In Florida 1,4% of the people suffer from the disorder, while the biggest ratio is as expected, in Alaska, with 9,9% being diagnosed with SAD.
A professor from the University of Oregon Health & Science, Alfred J. Lewy, said that SAD isn’t just the result of bad weather. He said that for most people, SAD has to do with the hour when they wake up and also with their internal clock. For example, people tend to feel down in the winter because when they wake up is still dark outside. He said that people need the sun to stimulate the start of their day. The professor recommends light exposure as a way of fighting the bad feelings.
Apparently, it can take years to recover from the depression caused by SAD, mostly because it comes and goes with every new season. He said that sadness caused by a rainy day is not a symptom of SAD if it goes away when the first sunny day arrives. The feelings like depression or demoralization can occur even for a week or more, without being forms of seasonal affective disorder.
As seasonal affective disorder could stand behind your depression, keep in mind that it can be treated by spending some time in the light every morning, even if the light is an artificial one.
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