The leaves are changing into different, beautiful colors, the skies are a little more grey, the warm summer breezes have transitioned into cool autumn winds that nip at your skin as you walk—it’s fall. As our seasons change from warmth and sunlight to coolness and clouds, it’s important we talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D).
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a degree of “winter blues” so severe, it becomes clinical depression. It is most prevalent in those living in northern countries, with two of its primary causes being stress and a lack of light. Some of the main symptoms you can look for if you think you or a friend or family member is struggling with S.A.D are: oversleeping, lethargy, depressed mood for two consecutive winters, with mood improvements during the spring and summer, and a withdrawal from friends and other social groups.
It may not always be obvious that you or someone else is struggling—take it from someone who has been battling depression for almost seven years now. There will be days when you or others seem perfectly fine, but maybe over the course of a few weeks or so, their condition will decline. Sometimes the decline is rapid, others it is so slow you can’t even notice it because everything feels the same.
Pay attention to your mental processes, pay attention to how those close to you are acting—what they are and aren’t doing, pay attention to how you are feeling, eating sleeping. The important thing is to know what is actually normal for you and others so that if a decline or spiral does begin to happen, the signs can be recognized more easily.
Another important thing to remember is to try to avoid self-treatment. If you think you have S.A.D, go to a doctor when you can—you may have other underlying issues that may be causing you to feel that way, or you may actually have S.A,D, in which case you may be advised to seek treatment in a professional and controlled setting.
The long winters we endure in Canada (even in Southern Ontario) can be horrific and brutal. Seasons changing can seriously mess with your head and emotions, and it’s important to keep on top of what’s going on with your body so you can stay as healthy and safe as possible. Yes, it’s important to bundle up during the cold weather and stay warm and dry so your physical health remains at its peak, but it is also important to protect your brain from the negative effects of cold weather and season changes.
Stay warm, and stay safe!
Image Source(s): http://www.mentalhealthsupport.co.uk/sad.html