Are You Experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Are You Experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Do you suffer from depression, mood swings and general lathery whenever the winter season arrives? If so, you could be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, as many people do during the dark and colder months.  Learning about the symptoms and what causes them can help you ease and overcome this condition so you don’t have to feel alone or consumed by it. Here are some signs that can indicate if you’re experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What is SAD?

SAD usually occurs with the onset of darker days and lack of sunlight, which creates a chemical imbalance in the brain. This results in mood changes that can feel overwhelming and distressing, which can impact daily activities and productivity.

Signs that you’re experiencing SAD:

Fatigue and Loss of Energy

Feeling drained and fatigued can occur even if you’re not doing any intense physical activity and are getting enough sleep.

Feeling Depressed and Sad

If you’re feeling depressed and sad on a frequent basis for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of SAD.

Too Much Sleep

If you’re struggling to get out of bed, more so than usual and are oversleeping a lot, this could be a red flag too.

Overeating and Weight Gain

Changes in appetite are a common symptom of SAD, either weight gain or weight loss.

Loss of Interest in Activities

Are you feeling disinterested in doing things you used to love? Whether it’s hanging out with friends, making time for your hobbies or working on a project, this can indicate SAD.

Change with Movements

Have you been struggling to sit still? Maybe you’ve been pacing back and forth a lot or jiggling your legs when sitting. Conversely, you could be moving slower than usual, with drawn out movements and speech. These changes in physical movement can be a sign.

Difficulty Concentrating

Another common indication of SAD is difficulty focusing on a task, conversation or making decisions.

Feelings of Guilt or Worthlessness

If you’re feeling bouts of guilt and worthlessness, you could be experiencing SAD.

How Can You Treat SAD?

Talk Therapy

If you’ve been struggling with any of the above symptoms, speaking with a therapist can be a very effective way to treat SAD. They will listen, and assist you in understanding what’s happening and how to overcome what you’re going through. 

Sunlight Therapy

It’s important to get as much sunlight as possible during the winter to minimize SAD. Though it can be difficult, try to get out during the early afternoon or whenever the sun is out, even for a few minutes. Alternatively, a sun lamp can also be beneficial for balancing mood. If you want to talk to a therapist, get in touch with Ottawa Counselling today. We’re here to listen, support and assist you in getting through this.