Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Is Your Mood Changing As The Seasons Change?

Many northern civilizations have traditionally celebrated a festival of lights in the middle of winter, on or around the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This practice may be observed in our current use of Christmas lights to commemorate and enjoy the holiday season. This focus on the value of light, at a time when the days are short and the nights are long and dark, offers testament to the importance of light and sunlight to our well-being. Our inherent demand for light is what drives our excitement when we stroll along a brightly lighted street on a gloomy December evening.

A long, harsh winter may be difficult for anybody, but some individuals have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which means they experience depression during a certain season – generally the winter – while being OK the rest of the year. In the 1980s, SAD was identified as a distinct psychological disorder. Unsurprisingly, northern nations have greater prevalence of SAD than southern or tropical regions.


A long, harsh winter may be difficult for anybody, but some individuals have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which means they experience depression during a certain season – generally the winter – while being OK the rest of the year. In the 1980s, SAD was identified as a distinct psychological disorder. Unsurprisingly, northern nations have greater prevalence of SAD than southern or tropical regions.

Winter Blues in Full Swing

If you have SAD, the list of symptoms will be extremely familiar to you. You may be exhausted all of the time, have little energy when awake, and be unhappy. You may have a tendency to overeat, find socializing unpleasant, and be gloomy. Your libido and feeling of self-esteem may suffer as a result. Only when spring arrives and the days lengthen do you begin to feel better.

Feeling Better Throughout the Year

Dealing with SAD can be difficult, but there are therapies that can make a significant impact. One therapy includes the use of artificial light sources that imitate the effect of natural sunlight on the brain. Making an effort to be outside and participate in physical exercise as often as possible during the daylight throughout the winter months, especially when there is little cloud cover, is a really basic technique that may make a huge impact.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is another effective method for treating and managing the symptoms of SAD and other types of depression. By working with your therapist to better understand the causes of your "winter blues," you may establish a new set of behaviors and emotions that are more positive and allow you to be as happy as possible at any time of year.


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