Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D is a type of recurrent depressive disorder in which the depressive episode occurs during the same season each year, usually during the autumn winter seasons.
The symptoms of depression are said to affect as many as one in six persons (at varied levels) each week. The symptoms experienced may vary from person to person but would generally consist of Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
What can Cause this condition?:
The exact cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder is not known but a possible contributing factor may be the lack of natural light during the winter months. As light hits the back of the eye it stimulates the areas of the brain which controls sleep, appetite, mood and activity. The lack of light during the winter months slows down this process; this can leave you feeling low in mood and lethargic, sad.
The importance of Self-Care:
So what can we do to maintain positive Mental Health? A few tips:
Talk it out – There are peer support groups which are available were you can meet up and talk to others who may be experiencing similar symptoms. Alternatively arrange to spend time with family and friends and have a chat.
Physical exercise – Exercise releases endorphins which can trigger positive feelings in the body, enrol in an exercise classes during the winter months.
Diet – What we eat may also affect how we feel, therefore, drink plenty of water to remain hydrated, try and eat your 5 a day. We are what we eat.
Get enough sleep – A good night’s sleep can increase ones energy levels which can help to stabilise your mood, “early to bed early to rise” they say.
Mindfulness – Is a relaxation technique which focuses on your breathing and thoughts. Mindfulness is to help the user to manage their anxiety and stress.
In conclusion we can deduce that the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can affect anyone, the helpful tips mentioned above can help us to manage the effects of the condition throughout the winter months if we implementing some or all of the suggestions, and taking care of self.
We hope this article has been both informative and helpful.
My name is Alecia May, I am a qualified counsellor and the founder of
Creating Expressions a Community Project based in Haringey.
If you would like to know more about what we do or get in touch with us please feel free to contact us on:
T: 07950 357 164