Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression where symptoms normally occur during the fall and winter months. This is normally due to a lack of sunlight. AFC Urgent Care Parammus specializes in emergency physical illness or injury, however we are able to provide resources for mental health. If you think you have symptoms of SAD, call our clinic today.

What Causes SAD

Seasonal depression is caused by the change in seasons from warmer weather to colder weather. y As we get closer to the winter months, the days get shorter and we experience less sunlight. This affects our internal clocks that mess with our daily routines. These factors can impact our mental health, and those living in colder climates are more likely to experience seasonal depression. 

Symptoms of SAD

Signs of seasonal depression are similar to depression itself. Depending on their severity depends on the person and not all individuals experience the same symptoms. Signs can include fatigue, changes in appetite, loss in interests, feeling sad, worthless or guilty, and difficulty concentrating or sitting still. Symptoms of depression are different for everyone. It is important to recognize common symptoms and learn healthy ways to improve and cope with these symptoms. 

The positive thing about seasonal depression is that it has an end date. Typically, when daily sunlight increases and the weather starts getting better, symptoms may start to go away. If the warmer months are here and you do not feel your symptoms are getting better, you may want to talk to a medical provider. 

Ways to improve symptoms

Symptoms will generally improve as the seasons change, but when it is the middle of January that can feel like a lifetime away. Understanding your symptoms can help you find the best treatment options based on your case. For example, if you experience severe symptoms of depression, an antidepressant may be a good option.

For less severe cases, forms of light therapy can help trick you brain into thinking it is light out when it isn’t. Adding this to your daily routine for just 20 minutes can make you feel better mentally to get through the season. 

Walking around the neighborhood and exposure to the sunlight can help improve your overall mood as well. Light exercise releases endorphins which can help make you happier, as will more exposure to the sun.