Blog by Norma
The cool, crisp morning air, orange, brown, and yellow hues, and the dwindling sun rays all signal the start of fall and cold weather. The start of fall is characterized by pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and pumpkin spice lattes, but for some, this is also the start of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is commonly referred to as seasonal depression. While the term seasonal depression may lead us to believe this is a passing mood, SAD is still a form of depression.
There are two types of SAD:
SAD affects approximately 5% of adults in the U.S., mainly women, and has mood changes and characteristics similar to that of Major Depressive Disorder.
The cause of SAD is still unknown, but it is believed to be linked to a chemical change in our brains during the change of seasons. However, there are treatment options available for those with SAD.
Along with professional medical treatment options, those suffering from SAD should set realistic goals, exercise regularly, avoid substance use (which may worsen feelings of SAD), be patient and focus on positive aspects. SAD may seem like a temporary yet passing mood brought on by the cold wind and removed by the summer sun, but it is a form of depression. It's important that we seek medical and professional help if we are experiencing symptoms of SAD. Don't let the change in seasons stop you from making a change towards better mental health.
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.-b). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Psychiatry.org - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/seasonal-affective-disorder
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Seasonal affective disorder. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/seasonal-affective-disorder