Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons— SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.
Signs and Symptoms
- Feeling sad or depressed almost every day
- Losing interest in things you enjoyed
- Low energy
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feeling agitated
- Thoughts of self harm
- Feeling hopeless
- Over sleeping
- Craving carbs (feel good or comfort food)
In some people with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of mania (hypomania), and fall and winter can be a time of depression.
It's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless.
What helps SAD?
- Light therapy. You can buy a light on Amazon or Walmart
- If it is sunny out get outdoors for an hour if you can.
- Sometimes medications are needed
- Talk Therapy
- Let your Physician know. He or she may want to check blood levels of Vitamin D and other things.