Season Affective Disorder (SAD), is also known as winter depression or winter blues and is caused by the way we respond to the lack of sunlight particularly during the winter months. Symptoms usually start in September or October and lift by April or May. SAD accounts for 10-20% of cases of recurrent depression.
A long, hard winter can be tough for anyone, but for those suffering with SAD, it can be particularly challenging.
Symptoms of SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder has a variety of symptoms including:
- Persistent low mood
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Increased urges to isolate and avoid socialising
- Pessimistic thoughts
- Lack of libido
- Sleeping more
- Thoughts of death or suicide
For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have significant impact on their day-to-day actives.
Dealing with SAD can be hard, but fortunately there are treatments that can make a big difference.
- Light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight.
- Lifestyle measures – eating healthy and exercising regularly even when tired
- Therapy – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a successful way to treat, manage and prevent the symptoms of SAD.
If you recognise the signs of SAD and would like to book a confidential appointment for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, please get in touch with us at The Consulting Clinic.