How would you feel if your mood is normal in summer and just when you are getting ready to celebrate the winter seasons, your mood jumps to a depressive level? This is a type of depression that lasts for a season, with the individual having this disorder showing depressive symptoms during the system. Quite often, seasonal depression starts in the fall and ends with the onset of summer. Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, this disorder shows up symptoms like – Fatigue, Increased need for sleep, Decreased levels of energy, weight gain, Increase in appetite, difficulty concentrating, and increased desire to be isolated from society. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in most cases, is known as “the winter blues,” with very few cases reported as “the summer blues.”
Some statistics on Seasonal Depression
In the United States, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects up to 6 percent of the population, with approximately 15 percent of those affected by a milder form of the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorder disproportionately affects women, with close to 75 percent of recorded cases occurring in females. Despite the fact that patients with SAD fall within the age range of 20 to 40, this condition has begun to afflict children and adolescents as well. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more prevalent in persons who reside at higher altitudes.
What are the causes of Seasonal Depression?
Reduced access to natural light Some of the findings from research on seasonal depression suggest that those who do not have regular contact with natural light are more likely to have symptoms of this condition. There is evidence to support the theory that exposure to sunshine influences mood regulation, the quality of sleep, and the rate at which hormones are produced.
Changes in the chemical makeup of brain transmitters Every human body possesses neurotransmitters, which are substances produced in the brain that assist in the transmission of information between nerves. A person may be diagnosed with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) if their neurotransmitters do not receive enough sunlight. If these imbalances are exposed to sunshine, it may cause them to the right themselves.
How is Seasonal Depression treated?
Seasonal depression is one of the simplest forms of treatment when it has to be treated. Simple techniques like spending a lot of time outdoors and maximizing the sunlight exposure at your home and office can do well to take the person out of SAD. Antidepressants are also used for treating SAD. Another technique used for treating Seasonal Depression is Light therapy. Light therapy advocates individuals to eat or read in bright light (about 10,000 Lux) to neutralize the consequences of SAD. Light therapy needs to be a continuous process throughout the times of low sunlight as discontinuation of this therapy midway may result in symptoms coming back.
Other treatment options for seasonal depression include seeking professional therapy and maintaining a diet that is both well-balanced and healthy. It is not difficult for a person to recover from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), even if they have been diagnosed with the condition.