Health Corner: Seasonal Affective Disorder, We All Go Through It..How To Avoid It…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….and some times it just doesn’t feel that way. The holiday season is right around the corner and now is the time where everyone begins to congregate around their loved ones. With the overwhelming amount of joy and happiness that you usually receive and give during this time, every now and again moments of sadness and depression weight upon us. Ever wondered why??  These waves of emotional sadness during this time has been diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Clinically, seasonal affective disorder is a from of depression that occurs more specifically in relations to seasons. This explains why most of the symptoms begin to occur after daylight savings time has officially ended. We don’t spend as much time in sun, therefore spending more time in darkness creates our sullen moods. We all need a certain amount of time in the sun each day, and regardless of the seasons changing, I guarantee you that if you stay in the house all day everyday for a couple days straight you are going to feel down and have no explanation as to why. Seasonal affective disorder has also been nicknamed the “winter blues”. Here are a few symptoms:

1) Sleeping longer than usual. 2) Having no energy whatsoever, lethargic. 3) Decreased interest in work or any activities. 4) Appetite has increased. 5) Withdrawal from friends, family, and people in general.

So what can we do to combat this seasonal affective disorder? You need sun! The sun is what chemically keeps our hormones in check. Have you ever thought about how happier people are in the summer? Contribute part of that happiness to the sun. Even if there is no sun around you can mimic it with a form of light therapy. It can be taken care of as simple as that.

Be careful though because even seasonal affective disorder can turn into full blown depression. Some people battle seasonal affective disorder their entire lives. Now is the time to keep an eye on your friends and family. If you see them unusually down make sure you do something, even if it’s just spending time with them or going for walks (hint: sun!). The holidays are very sensitive for some people, and honestly all they may need is someone to talk to and be with.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Justina
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 15:36:07

    I know that my mother and I suffer from this every year. So we do winter walks together sometimes, normally during weekends when we have daylight time to spare and aren’t wrecking our brains in a cubicle from 9-5. (But I digress). The sun and walks definitely help to boost my mood and keep me motivated during the day. I also like taking night winter walks in the city. The brisk air and all the festive window displays (favs are Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s) makes me a whole lot happier 🙂


  2. ImissMydaddy
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 19:26:08

    Interesting that this is called SAD. My dad hated the holiday season, likely because there was alot of family deaths during that time for him. Now im SAD becasue he isnt with me this year. How do you deal wth that??? I dont think a walk will help, but then again it just might. I need to get my mind off all the bad things that are making me sad and think more about what the season is truly about. Easier said than done yes, but maybe if i try it will help. Food makes me happy and there will be plenty of that 🙂 Good sales too, so maybe there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Im really SAD right now commenting, thinking about the daily stresses of life, but i thank you TLC for letting me know that im not the only one who feels like this and giving me ideas on how to ovrcome it.


    • T.L.C.
      Nov 18, 2010 @ 19:35:48

      i’m soooo sorry for your loss… you bring up a very good point though, the holiday season in itself is a very blatant reminder of the people that you no longer have with you and i think that can be another trigger of seasonal affective disorder. Simply just getting light won’t help you with the loss you have experienced but surrounding yourself with the people you still have around and love the most help to bring you through. I appreciate you sharing your story!


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