Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

There are so many of us that miss the long days of summer, the late evenings watching the sun set and having barbecues with family and friends. Then during the winter months, we have shorter days and darker evenings. As cosy as it is to settle down for the evening by the fire, the winter months can also be hard for those that suffer with Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)which is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern (www.nhs.uk). It does not just affect people during the winter months as it can also affect people during the summer months, however, it is often referred to as “winter depression” as symptoms are often worse during the winter months.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in everyday activities
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling worthless, guilty and despair
  • Lack of energy and sleeping more than usual
  • Changes in appetite and gaining weight

 

It is not clear why people suffer with seasonal affective disorder, or what triggers it, however, here are some tips to that you may find will help:

  • Take a short walk outdoors making sure you keep warm, even take a hot drink with you.
  • Open any curtains or blinds both at home or in work to increase the natural light come through
  • Sit near a window
  • Take regular exercise, even better if you can do it with friends or family
  • Participate in social activities or start a new hobby doing something you enjoy
  • Become a volunteer in a local community group
  • Get a light therapy lamp

If you feel you are not able to deal with your SAD symptoms, or that they are getting worse and effecting your everyday life, it may be best to speak to your GP, who will be able to advise on medication or CBT therapy to help.

For further information, please follow this link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov.health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder

By Clare Swiffen



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