How to stand up to seasonal affective disorder (SAD)


Sydney Hildebrandt

When we think of the holiday season, we often think of family time, fun activities, and yummy food – shopping stress, financial burden, and simply being overwhelmed often come to mind too.  The holiday season is a magical time for some, but for 10 million1 people in the United States, the holiday season is when the “Winter Blues” comes to town. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs during a specific time of year. SAD is thought to be caused by a few different things1:

 

1) Increased melatonin production due to shorter and darker winter days

2) Uncontrolled serotonin levels

3) Vitamin D insufficiency

 

People that suffer from SAD often feel hopeless, exhausted, lethargic, fatigued, irritable, unsociable, have an increased appetite, and in extreme cases, suicidal.  A few ways to combat the symptoms of SAD are2:

 

  • Time in the sun or light therapy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol
  • Learn to say “no” if you’re not feeling up to something
  • Get the right amount of sleep
  • Spend time with ones you love or volunteer in your community

 

Though the holidays do present challenging demands, take time to think about all the blessings life is filled with! Find out more about SAD by doing your own research and checking your facts. If you believe that you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) please speak with your doctor. May your holidays be filled with good health and happiness.

 

Sources:

1 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder

2 https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holiday-blues

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