Millions of readers rely on HelpGuide for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges. Please donate today to help us protect, support, and save lives. Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a form of depression that occurs at the same time each year, usually in winter. Otherwise known as seasonal depression, SAD can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels, taking a toll on all aspects of your life from your relationships and social life to work, school, and your sense of self-worth. You may feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. While a less common form of the disorder causes depression during the summer months, SAD usually begins in fall or winter when the days become shorter and remains until the brighter days of spring or early summer. Since the amount of winter daylight you receive changes the farther you are from the equator, SAD is most common in people who live at least 30 degrees latitude north or south north of places such as Jacksonville, Florida, Austin, Texas, Cairo, Egypt, and Hangzhou, China, or south of Perth, Australia, Durban, South Africa, and Cordoba, Argentina. No matter where you live, though, or how dark and cold the winters, the good news is that, like other forms of depression, SAD is treatable. But if your symptoms crop up around the same time each year, have a real impact on your quality of life, and improve when the seasons change, you may have seasonal affective disorder. The signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are the same as those for major depression.
About Mini Cookbooks. Seasonal affective disorder SAD aka winter blues, seasonal depression or whatever you want to call it, is a disorder that affects people who usually have a normal mental health during the majority of the year with the exception to when seasons change or at particular times of the year usually winter. SAD can affect your mood, sleep, appetite and energy levels, and overall take a toll on your body and every aspect of your life. When winter hits you may feel like an entirely different person.
You can feel hopeless, sad, tense, stressed, lose interest in things you usually love.
As the winter months arrive, your thoughts might turn to cosy nights in, Christmas markets, delicious food and twinkling lights. But while there are plenty of.
Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a mood disorder that is characterized by symptoms that occur at the same time each year, usually during the darker, shorter days of fall and winter. Symptoms can include depression, fatigue, and social withdrawal. While this condition usually resolves within a few months, it can have a serious impact on how a person feels and functions.
It is not uncommon for people to experience seasonal fluctuation in moods. You may have noticed how a gray, rainy day makes you feel gloomy and tired, while a sunny day can leave you feeling cheerful and energized. The longer, sunnier days of summer are often associated with better moods, while the shorter, darker days that begin in late fall often align with an increase in SAD symptoms.
Shorter days combined with the stress of the winter holiday season can make the colder months of the year a trying time for many people. And with mood-boosting sunlight in such short supply, the added stresses of living up to our images of the picture-perfect holiday are just too much. Insufficient exposure to sunlight has been associated with low levels of melatonin and serotonin, carbohydrate craving, weight gain, and sleep disturbance.
The symptoms of SAD occur cyclically with a return of symptoms each year during the winter months. Seasonal affective disorder is believed to be caused by a disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body.
The gloom of winter seems to get inside some people, the dark affecting their mood as well as their days. In the late s, the American Psychiatric Association APA recognized these winter blues as seasonal affective disorder, a name that seems to have been coined with its acronym, SAD, very much in mind. Light therapy, which involves sitting in front of bright, artificial light for a half an hour or so each day, lifts the mood of some people who suffer from the condition.
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter in a snowy city can be beautiful. But when you’re someone like me, a full-time freelance writer who can work.
Seasonal Affective Disorder which is fittingly referred to as SAD is known as a subcategory of depression or bipolar disorder. It typically occurs when the seasons change and is punctuated by depression, low energy, sleep issues, a loss of interest, and an overall feeling of hopelessness. However, there is still the rampant belief that SAD does not exist , silencing those who deal with increased mental distress during a poignant portion of the year. Seasonal Affective Disorder, in my opinion, is real.
For as long as I can remember, my mood has drastically changed the moment fall and winter are on the horizon, causing me to deal with a level of depression and anxiety that is not characteristic to my everyday life. Then, the second spring and summer hit my system, I am back to feeling like myself again. I can understand why one would be suspicious when I say that I deal with depression only part of the year.
After all, SAD is not something tangible. When the air around me grows cold and the atmosphere is tinged with darkness by 5pm, all I want to do is curl up in bed with a heating pad and something to distract my rabbit-hole-spiraling mind. That would explain why, if you invite me out to do something, I will likely feel too seasonally affected to accept.
Even though I fell asleep at 9 p. My whole body aches, and just thinking about leaving the couch feels like an impossible task. I get a text from a cute guy I matched with on Hinge, back on a day when the sun was out and I felt like a person. Are we still on for tonight? Instead of feeling relieved about canceling plans, I feel even more anxious and depressed than I already was.
Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans each year and is four times more common in women than it is in men.
Common ground will shrink the distance between you. You might not be depressed, but chances are you’ll be feeling a lot of the things they’re feeling – sadness.
People with mental illnesses are crazy and unpredictable. These are all misconceptions about dating and mental illness that need debunking. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people aged 15 to 44, affecting 6. Dating a depressed person can be challenging for all sorts of reasons. However, if you choose to date someone with depression, educating yourself about their condition is key to making the relationship work.
Here are three key things you should know about dating someone with depression:. Secondly, every person you meet with depression will be at a different point in their recovery. Some may have just been diagnosed; others will have been living with the condition for years.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U. Odds are that at some point you have already or will eventually date someone with major depressive disorder. Dating someone with depression can put added strain on your relationship. It can make it harder to connect with them, becoming a wall that separates you.
APA asked psychologist and seasonal affective disorder expert Kelly Rohan, PhD, to explain the signs of the disorder and potential treatments.
By Marisa Dellatto. Sunday ushered in the dreaded Standard Time. That means shorter days, longer nights and, for some, the start of seasonal depression. Twitter was quick to mourn the onset of the wintertime mood disorder the moment daylight saving time ended. Seasonal depression coming to team up with my regular depression pic. Worried you have the winter blues? Twitter might have you more alarmed than you should be.
Only about 5 percent of Americans are believed to be affected by it, Dr. James W. Seasonal depression is considered a subset under the umbrella of major depressive disorder, says Murrough. It can take many forms. A person can suffer from SAD and not have any other mental health issues. However, Murrough most commonly sees patients who suffer from depression that intensifies during the winter months.
For a person to be clinically diagnosed with depression of any kind, they need to experience at least one major depressive episode — a period of abnormal depressed mood or lack of pleasure — that lasts at least two weeks, says Murrough.
In fact, approximately 14 percent of Americans experience some degree of seasonal affective disorder SAD. While it may not be as intense in warmer climates, it can still cause some winter blues that make it difficult to take joy in the things that usually make one happy—and even all the wonderful things that can come with the fall and winter, like colorful leaves, snowfall and holiday parties.
SAD is different from depression because it only affects individuals for selected months out of the year.
A person with SAD typically experiences symptoms of depression as winter approaches and daylight hours become shorter.
This just in: new additions to our summer collection. Elevated basics, tried-and-true favorites, and our most versatile pieces. Book a virtual stylist appointment. During your virtual appointment, your dedicated stylist will walk you through a curated selection of looks, just for you. Come hang out with our community of remarkable women from the comfort of your couch! But starting the year on a positive, ambitious note can be much more difficult for people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD.
This type of depression—also referred to as seasonal depression or winter depression —occurs most commonly in the fall and winter and takes its toll with symptoms like low energy, appetite changes, lost interest in certain activities and feelings of hopelessness, among others. According to Psychology Today , SAD affects an estimated 10 million Americans in addition to the people who experience mild SAD and is four times more common in women than in men.
Ahead, eight people share how seasonal depression impacts them at work and how they cope. Your privacy is important to us.