SAD, or Seasonal affective disorder is a recognisable mood disorder, generally effecting people who have more stable mental health throughout most of the year, but exhibit depressive symptoms at a particular time each year, most commonly in the winter.
There are a lot of common sense reasons why a lot of people have the blues around this time of year, all the hype, expense and fake-ness of Christmas is but a memory. Though the binging and the throwing together of personalities which may not generally get along, is over, there can be a huge sense of lost-ness around this time.
So what does SAD look like?
The symptoms vary from person to person, but generally it feels like depression you may feel:
- have a persistent sense of gloom
- Sleep more (or sometimes have difficulty sleeping)
- Loss of interest in things you usually like doing
- Feel lost, worthless or that you have no place in the world
- Less sociable
- Reduced sex drive
So in general, the symptoms of SAD resemble those of depression, except its seasonal, to see more symptoms, here is a link to the NHS site.
SAD is effecting thousands of people and there is no need to struggle with it on your own.
The treatment for people effected by SAD is similar to the treatment for depression, so counselling or counselling combined with medication can help, your doctor can talk to you about the options.
If you would like to try to help yourself feel better before contacting a counsellor or a doctor, then there are things you can try:
- Natural light, and sunshine are extremely helpful
- Open curtains and blinds and let natural light into your home or environment
- Try to eat healthy, fruit and vegetables will help
- Try to go for a walk , even 15 minutes brisk walking is a good workout, or try some other exercise
- Try to avoid stressful situations, reducing stress will help
I hope this has helped you to see that SAD and Depression go hand in hand and that you can do something to make it better.
If you would like support and some practical coping strategies on how to cope with SAD and Depression, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Paul Parkin – online counsellor