Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, the remaining winter season can affect all of us differently. While some of us love the colder temperatures and winter activities, others may struggle with their mental health.
Having minor periods of sadness throughout the year is common and usually not a concern for most people, but if you are finding that these periods are getting worse or more persistent in the winter months, you may have seasonal affective disorder.
Our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team explains all about SAD below, so check it out.
Can Anyone Develop SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder is much more common in adulthood, and is found more frequently in women versus men. That being said, it can still occur in people younger than 20, so it is important to keep an eye on your children if you notice any changes in their mental health.
In the winter, we are naturally not exposed to as much sunlight as we are during the spring and summer months. Because of this, our hormones can get out of balance. The reduction in sunlight can trigger an overproduction of melatonin, which can start to affect your mood and produce symptoms related to depression.
Common Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Increased sleepiness or daytime drowsiness
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Social withdrawal
- Feelings of guilt
Is SAD Treatable?
Treatment options vary greatly when it comes to mental health disorders. What works for one person may not work for others, so it is always important to visit with your care team for a full evaluation and discussion of your symptoms.
There are many different possibilities to help manage your symptoms, ranging from medication to lifestyle changes. The good news is that most SAD cases tend to resolve as the seasons change and the sun returns. If your symptoms linger into the spring and summer months, you may be dealing with regular depression and it is crucial to talk with a medical provider.
Support Your Mental Health This Season
- Stand in the sun more often.
- Discover a new hobby to keep you engaged.
- Practice more self-care, like exercising and getting enough sleep.
- Visit with a doctor if your symptoms start to affect your everyday life.
Does winter make you feel down? Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail to visit with our care team.