Have you ever gotten sad or down on a cold winter day? Believe it or not this is actually a common experience. This As discussed in the previous blog post, depression is a large mental health issue. The Winter Blues or more commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a branch of the mental illness depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is directly related to changes in seasons. According to Mayo Clinic, “SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.” SAD typically begins in late fall and carries into the winter months, and in more rare cases it occurs in the spring or early summer. While the time of year plays a big role in SAD so does geographic location. SAD normally affects people in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
During these times of experiencing SAD most people experience depression like symptoms and sadness. These symptoms include depression, anxiety, mood changes, low energy, and losing interest in activities and people. As it says in its name SAD is a seasonal depression and should be treated as such. Any depressions symptoms may occur while experiencing SAD.
Now while many of us would love to be able to go to the tropics during the winter months that’s not always possible. So the questions is how can you fight SAD? Unlike other forms of depression SAD is easier counter and luckily you can do a lot of it yourself. The first and most important is get as much natural light as possible. According to Psychology Today people with a higher exposure to natural light report a higher quality of life. Other than natural light you can buy artificial lights that emits light on the broad spectrum of light that is similar to natural light. If light exposure does not do the trick there are also the standard depression treatments that include medication and psychotherapist.
So if you find yourself getting blue this winter tell someone and see a doctor to see if you are experiencing SAD. Also remember to keep moving and get as much natural light as possible. The sun is always shining you just have to find it.
~Be mindful of the mind