With the official onset of the Winter season just a few days away, it seems a suitable time to write about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that people may feel the onset of, now the days are shorter and cooler. SAD is a recognised mental health disorder. Most of us are affected by the change in seasons – it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, so it is natural to feel the opposite to some extent at this time of year.
Indications of SAD may be one or a combination of:
- A low mood that won’t go away.
- A Lack of energy.
- Struggling to get up in the morning.
- A yearning to eat, combined with weight gain.
- General irritability.
- An overall sense of malaise.
The symptoms of SAD can be treated, in a similar way to other forms of depression with talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
CBT isn’t the only treatment that can help. Others that may have a relieving affect include:
- Exposure to natural sunlight
- Take regular exercise
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet
- Antidepressants prescribed after a GP visit
- Light therapy via a special lamp called a light box.
If you have any concerns regarding SAD and its treatment, visit your GP in the first instance. If you’d also like to speak to a counsellor about talking therapies to help with SAD, call me or complete the box opposite.