The Approaching Winter Season and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is known as a type of depression that is related to changes in the season. Typically, SAD occurs in people around the same time every year. For many people who are affected by SAD, the fall transition into winter months is when the symptoms become apparent. Less often do people experience the symptoms in spring or summer, but it is not unheard of.
As we enter the winter season, especially in the time of social distancing during COVID-19, don’t dismiss your emotions as being restless or cooped up. SAD affects approximately 5 percent of Americans, so it’s important to listen to your body and emotions.
Symptoms of SAD vary for everyone, but these are the common symptoms to be aware of:
● Low energy or low interest in activities;
● Changes in diet and appetite;
● Excess or the inability to fall asleep;
● Feeling hopeless, sluggish or unmotivated;
● Increased anxiety.
The effects of SAD can be detrimental if left untreated. COVID-19 has brought on additional concerns surrounding mental health as thousands are struggling with grief, financial inconsistency and social withdrawal. Having a few days occasionally where you are feeling down is normal. But, prolonged symptoms are a cause of concern.
In this unprecedented time, it’s necessary to be honest about your emotions and to check in on those around you.