- Mental Health
With millions across the globe suffering at this very moment from Seasonal Depression, I thought this would be the perfect, first of many, Hubs about depression
I suffer with depression, a few types actually, and one that bugs me the most is my Seasonal Depression. Mostly, because I feel like Mother Nature has control of my emotions, and I hate losing control of anything. (No, that doesn't make me a control freak…okay maybe a little) Every Fall I become more depressed than I usually am, and even though I have depression medicine, I still feel the pull of the cold season dragging me under. With Fall already here, claiming its victims, I thought it’d be a great topic for my first hub on Depression.
Seasonal Depression is a mood disorder that rears its ugly head every fall and winter. As the days get shorter, the sun isn’t out for as long, and the temperature drops, some people slip into a seasonal depression. Seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more common than most people realize affecting millions of people in the United States alone. A lot of people may not even realize they have it, just citing they don’t like the cold. This alone makes it difficult to conjure up numbers on how many people it affects. This depression doesn’t let up until spring arrives, and let me tell you, that’s a long 6 months.
What do you think is the best way to treat SAD?
The hormones in your brain make you have an attitude change at different times of the year, which experts believe relates to SAD. Some think that the production of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that calms and soothes you) slows down due to lack of sunlight. Obviously if serotonin isn’t being produced at par, you won’t be calm and soothed, resulting in depression. Your appetite, however, will increase, and more than likely you will eat carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are thought to increase serotonin levels, therefore picking up the slack of your brain, and effectively helping you gain weight. Weight gain combined with other symptoms such as, fatigue, decreased energy, and the need to sleep more, can make you feel flat out lazy.
There is a flip side, where SAD will hit you in the spring and last throughout the summer. Experts don’t exactly understand this one as much yet, however the side effects are the complete opposite, as they should be. You won’t be able to or want to sleep, you won’t want to eat, and you will lose weight.
If you think you have SAD, you need to consult your doctor. If your disorder is serious enough they may consider medication or light therapy. If it is mild, a simple walk in the morning, to get the sun in your face, may be the only cure you need. The most important thing, is realizing the signs of depression in you, or in others, and getting help. Depression is an ugly beast, but can be tamed with a little help of your doctor and a lot of support from loved ones.
The symptoms of SAD & Summer SAD are very different
Symptoms of SAD
Symptoms of Summer SAD
- Trouble sleeping
- Decrease in energy levels
- Weight loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Appetite decrease
- Appetite increase
- Weight gain
- Needing to be alone
- Wanting to sleep more