There are many things that can affect our days and the outlook we have on them. Rude people, unwanted situations, and too much stress can all shape our day and our outlook on it. But who would have thought we may have another thing working against us that is out of our hands completely! The reality is that the season change may be doing more damage to you and your emotions than you know.
Seasonal affective disorder affects millions of people each year, and the further you are away from the equator, the more likely you are to suffer from it. Most suffers get it during the winter months when the light become limited. But SAD can also happen when the weather changes to sunny and warmer weather.
Whether it’s the warm weather or the darkness that gets you, you can recognize the disorder as a shift in mood when the season changes, and the weather and light follows suit.
Symptoms can look and feel a lot like depression and include:
Isolating yourself from the world and the people in it
Loss of appetite
Sleeping more than usual – SAD has been connected to the production of melatonin which is a sleep related hormone.
Lack of focus and concentration
The causes of this disorder are not entirely known yet. The fact that some people are more prone to it than others may point towards the unique individual’s chemical makeup, health conditions, outlook on life, and age.
Another cause could be the disruption of your body’s natural rhythm. If you are a creature of habit then you are used to functioning in a certain amount of daylight, waking up to a certain amount of daylight, and the specific weather that allows you to do the stuff you love. When that all changes it can be hard on your body and your outlook.
Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin which is a chemical that affects your mood.
When you are trying to determine if you have SAD, look for patterns and tell-tale signs that may be occurring. Do you get sad every winter? Did you get sad when the season changed? Do you get depressed when the days start to shorten? Listen to your body and answer the questions honestly. This will help you understand why you are feeling the way you are.
Because the symptoms so closely mimic depression you may think you have you depression instead of SAD. But you may have SAD instead of outright depression. Make sure you note when it started and what was happening around the time it started. Any changes that took place when it started including the season, life, diet, medicine, exercise, drugs, or anything else that could have caused the feelings you are experiencing. This will help you determine if the depression came from a change in life or something else.
Some home remedies to help you with your seasonal affective disorder are:
Make it a rule to spend more time in the light. (At least 30 minutes in the day)
Get active and get your muscles moving! Exercise is a great mood lifter!
Get away on vacation to someplace sunny – Your health demands it!
Do not drink or do drugs as this will only make you feel worse.
Buy a light box to use for at home light therapy.
Eat a healthy diet full of fresh food, and avoid junk and processed food.
Get enough sleep.
If you can’t get rid of it on your own, get help. Go to your doctor or a mental health professional. Do not let it take over you life.
By: Kari Farmer
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