Do You Suffer From Seasonal Affective Disorder?
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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that related to the changes in the season, normally from the changing of fall to winter. For most, the symptoms start in the fall and continue to get worse through the winter causing depression and anxiety which makes those suffering from the disorder moody and lethargic. Most people normally chalk these symptoms up to the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that they have to just deal with on their own, however there are many steps you can take to ease and even relieve symptoms related to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What are the Signs & Symptoms?
Symptoms can differ between people both in the specific symptoms they experience and the intensity of those symptoms. They can include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, almost every day
- Losing interest in activities they enjoy
- Problems sleeping
- Changing is appetite or weight
- Feeling tired or agitated
- Inability or difficulty concentrating
- Feeling worthless, hopeless or guilt
- Frequent suicidal thoughts
- Craving foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight Gain
- Becoming lethargic or having low energy
What happens if I leave Seasonal Affective Disorder untreated?
Trying to tough it out and face it on your own is never the answer. Without proper treatment Seasonal Affective Disorder can lead to serious problems such as:
- Social withdrawal and increased isolation
- Problems at school or work
- Creating stress and potential problems in relationships
- Substance abuse
- Anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health issues
- Long term changes in behaviors and routines
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
What can Carolina Chiropractic Plus do to help with my Seasonal Affective Disorder?
As a clinic focus on the health and wellness of both your mind and body, our doctors can work with you to create a custom plan help you reduce and eliminate the symptoms caused by SAD. From helping retrain your brain with neurofeedback therapy, to supplements and nutrition guides to help your body maintain the appropriate levels of melatonin, serotonin and more, we will create a custom plan to address your specific signs and symptoms.
When you are anxious, stressed out or even depressed, your brain cells can become overactive and affect multiple other areas of your body, including the production of certain chemicals that help to maintain and balance your mood, energy levels, sleep patterns, appetite and more. How these changes affect people can vary from person to person. Some people suffering from depression will find an increase in their appetite while others will experience a loss of appetite. Some may find themselves unable to sleep, while others will oversleep or feel constantly tired.
The goal of Neurofeedback therapy is to train the brain to change its reactions to different stimuli and situations it experiences to regulate these changes or prevent them from happening. During our lives, we have all seen how our brain can learn behaviors and retain them creating habits and altering certain responses. Over the years, many published studies have shown that most patients receiving Neurofeedback therapy are able to alter their behaviors and reactions, reducing and even eliminating their symptoms, allowing their disorder to be better managed.
Nutrition and Supplements
Many of the symptoms that result from Seasonal Affective Disorder are caused by changed in the bodies chemistry which can affect a variety of normal processes. Many patients suffering from this disorder will experience changes such as lack of serotonin, which can cause depression, anxiety and problems sleeping, and increased levels of melatonin, which can cause a constant state of drowsiness, reduced core body temperature, and can contribute to headaches and fatigue. In order to help your body maintain appropriate levels, our experienced staff will work with you to determine appropriate vitamins, supplements and nutrition plans that will work best for you.
Why does Seasonal Affective Disorder affect me?
There is no specific cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder that we know of currently. Anyone can suffer from the disorder, regardless of gender or age, though it is more often diagnosed in women than men and occurs more frequently in younger adults than in older adults. While a cause for the disorder is currently unknown, studies have determined that multiple factors may come into play regarding who will be affected and how strongly. These factors include:
- Changes to your biological clock affecting your circadian rhythm caused by reduced levels of sunlight.
- A decrease in serotonin levels which affects mood and energy levels
- Changes to melatonin levels which affects sleep patterns and mood
- Increased isolation and decreased activities affect various aspect of your brain
Why are you focusing on Seasonal Affective Disorder?
2020 has been a hard year for everyone across the world. With quarantine, reduction of socialization, continuing changes to our daily lives and more, it is expected that this year will be especially hard on those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. With people already experiencing anxiety and depression from our current situation, the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder will likely be intense and may feel hopeless. Our goal is to make more people aware of this disorder and let them know that there is help available, so they do not have to face it alone.