Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, abbreviated as SAD is a disorder that affects many during specific seasons of the year. There are several characteristics behind this disorder, many of which can be solved through different means.

It is important to find what SAD means, as well as finding effective ways to treat the disorder. By doing this, you will be able to function better with friends and family, as well as at work, allowing you to enjoy every season of the year.

Wintertime Blues

Usually, seasonal affective disorder occurs during the winter seasons. Christmas time and the colder months often bring a feeling of sadness, depression or anxiety. At a physical level, this occurs because of the weather outside. It becomes colder more often. The sun also isn’t up as much, causing more darkness to be around us for longer amounts of time.

Most will find that they are waking up when it is completely dark and driving home from work in the dark as well. If there has been a tragic event that has occurred during this time of year, it will reinforce the seasonal affective disorder.

Early Signs

The first signs of seasonal affective disorder are a loss of interest and activities that are occurring around you. It is possible that you will find it hard to work or spend time with friends and loved ones. You may also have physical changes that occur as a result. This usually includes an imbalance in eating.

You may crave more food than is normal, including sweets and starchy foods. This craving of food becomes uncontrollable and often is used a way out of approaching the feelings of depression that are occurring inside of you. While wanting more food in the winter seasons is often natural, an imbalance in desiring these foods is often a sign of SAD.

Sleep Changes

Another sign of seasonal affective disorder is a change in your sleep patterns. If you are finding it harder to wake up in the mornings and want to oversleep at nights, then this is often a sign of SAD. You may also swing towards not being able to sleep as much and staying restless throughout the night as well as the day.

If you do not recognize and treat seasonal affective disorder, then it can begin to affect those around you as well as your own functioning, both at work and at home. While others are enjoying the winter season, you may find yourself feeling sad and alone. This causes a loss in enjoying the holidays.

You may also become more ineffective in the work area, making it harder to complete tasks as well as relate to your co-workers. If you do not want to affect those around you, then there are several ways in which you can approach and change this seasonal affective disorder.

Treatment

The most common method that is used is known as bright light therapy. This type of therapy has been used for centuries for people who live in colder and darker climates. For the past fifteen years, it has been researched in order to become more effective for those suffering from SAD.

The first and most common way to use light therapy is by taking a bright light and sitting under it for thirty minutes a day when you wake up. There are light boxes that are available for this therapy to allow the right angles and brightness of the light to be used. Usually, the response towards light therapy will take between one and four weeks. There are also several other versions of light therapy that you can use in order to minimize the effects of seasonal affective disorder.

If light therapy doesn’t seem like your best option, then you can still look into other types of treatment. There are several herbal remedies that you can use as well as anti-depressant medication that is available for seasonal affective disorder. These can all help you in overcoming the depression or sadness that you experience in the winter months.

While the Christmas and winter season is known to be a happy and joyful time of the year to some, to others it may cause sadness, grief and depression. If you are affected by the season, there are several ways that you can treat it. By allowing yourself to treat SAD, you will be able to enjoy the season with your friends and family.