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Seasonal Affective Disorder How To Tell If You Have It

seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a depression type that strikes you every year around the similar time. It generally follows a seasonal pattern. You most likely will experience this disorder beginning and ending with a change in seasons every year. Just like normal depression it feeds on all of your energy and makes you sensitive to even the smallest things. Most of the time it commences around fall and proceeds into the winter months. Have you ever heard of Winter Blues? It is nothing but seasonal affective disorder. However, it is less frequent during spring or even during the onset of summer. So how do you know if you are suffering from SAD?

Signs that say you are Silently Suffering from Seasonal depression Affective Disorder

Having a hard time Concentrating

seasonal affective disorder

The seasonal affective disorder symptoms are similar to depression symptoms including difficulty with concentration and loss of appetite. It makes you feel as if you had a lot to eat while you may not. You may feel sluggish and tired even after sleeping for a good amount of time. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can eventually make it hard for you to keep your mental focus on one particular thing. You may feel lost in a conversations someone might be having with you. You may struggle to maintain your normal pace while completing even a small task.

Physical Pain Like Body Aches

seasonal affective disorder

People with seasonal affective disorder frequently complain of experiencing various physical pain. For some people who suffer form this disorder winters sometimes comes across as the worst time of the year. They also feel sick all the time with persistent body aches, headaches along with other infections. It decreases your immune system and the flu certainly seems to follow you all season long.

Runs in Genes

seasonal affective disorder

If somebody in your family has a history of Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression, then you are at risk. The National Institute of Health claims if your first-degree relative or parent or even a sibling suffers from SAD you have all the chances of developing it. Generally, 15 percent of people who battle SAD have a family member who is fighting the same.

Pulling back from Social Meetups

You may agree to catch up with your friends or attend a party. But as soon as it comes on and you have to go, you feel overwhelmed and not too friendly. SAD is likely to make you keep to yourself, and sleep a lot. As a result, you don’t want to go out and engage with people in conversation or visit friends and relatives. You simply want to be left alone.

Weight Gain

It sometimes increase, your cravings for sugary stuff and starchy foods by an alarming level. This is because when you consume these foods, your body produces Serotonin to comfort you. Beware of these cravings because the consumption of these foods won’t make you feel comfortable for long. Initially, you will feel energized but as soon as the blood sugar level crashes, fatigue and irritation kicks in. Leaving you with the urge to consume more junk which ultimately leads to gaining weight.

Have Self-Harm Intentions

Generally many cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder take a bad turns where people have thoughts of harming themselves. The depression is so intense that they think of committing suicide. So be alert and reach out for help if you think you are having any such thoughts.

Remember that seasonal affective disorder has treatments that your doctor can suggest for you. The primary treatment often involve taking antidepressants, undergoing light treatment of psychotherapy. Maintaining a healthy sleep hygiene, going out for walks every day even when it is cold and cloudy, doing aerobic exercises can also help you or your loved ones with SAD. You can also use the aid of the Seasonal Affective Disorder lamp to improved indoor lightning to lift your mood.

Watch out for these Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms which are specific to different seasons.

SAD Symptoms in Fall and Winter

This usually commences with the onset of winter and also called as winter depression. Some of the signs to look for are shared below:

  • If you are oversleeping and feeling tired most of the time.
  • Constantly craving for food rich in carbohydrate; noticing an abnormal change in your appetite.
  • If you gain weight over less time.
  • Noticing a constant drop in energy with body ache and heaviness in legs and your arms.

SAD Symptoms in Spring and Summer: seasonal affective disorder

If you notice the following changes with the onset of Summer. This is also referred to as Summer depression by people.

  • A drop in your appetite and cravings.
  • Losing weight over less time.
  • Struggling with anxiety or feeling agitated often.
  • Dealing with insomnia; that is finding it hard to sleep.

Tips for Self Coping

In order to effectively manage SAD stick to the following steps and practice them religiously.

Learn Stress Management

Learn techniques to manage stress better. Depression, overeating, detrimental behavior generally arise when you fail to handle the pressure.

Abide by your treatment plan

Be regular in attending your scheduled therapy appointments. If you are taking medication or have been subscribed a physical exercise plan stick to it.

Be more attentive towards yourself: seasonal affective disorder

If you want to feel rested catch up on your sleep but do not run away from your responsibilities. People with SAD have a strong urge to go into hibernation so be extra cautious for your own sake. Stick to healthy life choices such as eating right and exercising. Turning to drugs or alcohol in search of relief is not the solution.

Connect with People: seasonal affective disorder

Socializing with your favorite people can give your mood a healthy boost. Meeting people may come across as a challenge, but you’ll have their support and have somebody to talk to.  

Study these signs and symptoms carefully to know if you or your loved one are silently suffering from them. The symptoms can differ for different people. Some can experience mild symptoms while for others it can be severe. However, you don’t need to panic as SAD is entirely treatable. To have control of your life we recommend you seek help daily and develop a fitness routine. This can boost your mood and combat the disorder.

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