Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that’s tied to the changes in the season, most commonly related to the changing of fall to winter. For most people, the symptoms begin in the fall and continue to worsen through the winter months making them moody and lethargic due to the depression and anxiety. Often, people simply shake these symptoms off as the “winter blues” or season funk that they have to deal with on their own, however there are many steps you can take to ease and even relieve the symptoms of SAD.
The signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can differ in people, both in what symptoms they experience and the intensity of those symptoms. These signs and symptoms 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
Specific symptoms that tend to show during the winter-onset of SAD include:
- Craving foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight Gain
- Becoming lethargic or having low energy
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
What happens if I leave Season Affective Disorder untreated?
As with any depression, trying to tough it out and face it on your own is never the answer. Without proper treatment SAD can worsen and can lead to further 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 focused 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. Our experienced staff are here to help with treatment and therapies 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.
If you or someone you know suffers from Season Affective Disorder, then click the button below to learn more about treatment options and to schedule a consultation today. You don’t have to face it alone, Carolina Chiropractic Plus is here to help.