What to Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

What to Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Author: Racheal Mosimann

When the seasons change, sometimes how we feel, think or handle life can change as well. The seasons changing affects everyone in their own way. There are some that thrive on the change in seasons and some that hardly notice. This can cause the changing seasons to be overwhelming and difficult to manage.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is related to the seasons. This happens around the same time yearly for the individual and is generally more common in the fall/winter months, although it can happen anytime of year. Some that have SAD may struggle with minor changes in mood while others may have more serious symptoms. Serious symptoms can include:

  • A change in daily activities
  • Excessive isolation
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live. 

It is unsure of the exact cause of SAD, though scientists do continue to study the matter. They have found that potential causes are decreased serotonin, decreased melatonin, or the person’s biological clock. No matter the cause, when SAD arises, it is always best to deal with it in a healthy way.

Like most types of depression, it is best to identify coping skills that can help manage. Some healthy coping skills are:

  • Soak up sunshine when you can
  • Get into a routine
  • Exercise
  • Meditation/mindfulness
  • Plan for the future

If you are utilizing coping skills and having no success at lessening your symptoms, there are treatment options. The most common include light therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressants, and vitamin d. As well, being proactive is always better than being reactive. If SAD is something you struggle with yearly, plan ahead. Begin coping skills sooner, talk to a medical professional before the seasons start changing, or even have a plan in place for when it hits.

Know you are not alone. There are options, and there is help. If you or someone you know is struggling with SAD and unable to cope, please reach out to Valeo Behavioral Healthcare at (785) 233-1730.

Valeo’s Crisis Line is (785) 234-3300 or go to Valeo’s 24/7 Crisis Center at 400 SW Oakley Avenue.

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