Seasonal affective Disorder is a type of depression which is related to the change in seasons and begins and ends about the same time every year. Many people do not know that the SAD and winter blues are common. This seasonal depression can be practically related to any age group. It isn’t limited to a certain population or area.
The cause of SAD is the change in seasons and one of the primary reasons why people have this change of mood is because of their lack of exposure to sunlight.
Just like leaves wither without sunlight or bears go into a state of hibernation due to no sunlight, humans also have the need of light. The “happiness” hormone (serotonin) is produced by the body when it is in contact with the bright light of the sun. Serotonin helps the body to regulate melatonin which is related to sleep. So, our sleep, our mood and energy levels are all directly dependent on the light intake.
There are many symptoms that can occur due to SAD. One of which is a prolonged, depression mood. Here are some other symptoms that are helpful to know.
- Loss of interest in things they normally enjoy
- Less energetic, fatigue and lethargic
- Reluctance to engage with others and withdrawal from social situations
- Changes in sleep patterns like oversleeping
- Difficulty with concentration, attention, and focus
- Craving carbohydrates and sugar
- Decreased libido and sexual desire
- Feeling anxious or irritable, or having difficulty managing normal stress
Light therapy lamps
Bright, full spectrum light that triggers serotonin production is a solution. Pharmaceuticals can take weeks to show results and the dosage needs to be accurate, but light therapy can yield faster results with daily use. You can buy these light therapy lamps that mimics sunlight. By doing so, your body gets the daily dose of light to produce serotonin which affects your sleep, mood and energy levels.