Recognizing and Combating Signs of SAD

Winter marks the end of the year, but for some people, it also marks a rollercoaster of emotions. While some are showing off their pumpkin spice lattes and photos of snow, others are affected differently by the seasonal change.

But what’s the reason for the sadness? You could be blaming everyday occurrences on heightened emotions. But what if you always find yourself to be depressed and sad during the chilly season, and there isn’t any specific reason you can find?

Well, there could be an explanation. You might be suffering from SAD. Now, sad means being upset over something, but it also stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is responsible for a slumped mood in the colder months. Read on to find out what exactly it is and how you can combat it as we head into the Winter season.

What Is SAD?

As the name implies, it lasts for a season. Usually, the season is fall or winter and the days are shorter and the nights are longer. It takes over your healthy, functioning life, and makes you feel deeply upset and unable to perform your daily chores. This can include your job, social outings, relationships, and almost anything you do daily. It makes you feel hopeless and affects your self-worth, mimicking nearly all symptoms of regular depression. Luckily, there are ways to help overcome the symptoms as long as you recognize the signs.

What Are the Symptoms Of SAD?

If you think that you are going through a rough time right now, or someone close to you is feeling down, then you might want to go through the symptoms of this disorder. You may be suffering from SAD if it’s fall or winter, and you’re feeling unusually down. The symptoms are:

  • Sleep deprivation or excessive hours of sleep
  • Changes in appetite (increased cravings for unhealthy food items)
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, stress and irritative behavior
  • Possible weight gain
  • Lack of sexual desires and physical needs

How to Combat SAD?

  • Get yourself out of the house and into sunlight every day – if the days are dark, try light therapy
  • Follow a proper healthy diet
  • Find a therapist, friend or any family member to reach out to and share what you’re going through
  • Exercise regularly

Around 1-2% of the population, mainly youth and women, are affected by this disorder. Don’t let the symptoms go untreated! Pay attention to the ways you can cope with SAD, and have a healthy and happy winter and holiday season.