Disclaimer: I am not a psychiatrist. You should always seek professional help before self-/misdiagnosing.
Today is Daylight Saving (excluding Hawaii and most of Arizona) which is usually the first sign of reality that we are entering the dark and cold months of the year. Though many states have already been experiencing winter-like weather, the addition of early sunsets makes the transition that much more ‘real.’ Even here in Texas, we have spent this past week mostly in the 40s with rain. I have to say, personally, this is my favorite time of the year and I look forward to that extra hour of sleep this day allots. However, I know that many people dread this time of year and even experience seasonal affective disorder, or SAD–aptly named.
According to Psychology Today, “Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of recurrent major depressive disorder in which episodes of depression occur during the same season each year. This condition is sometimes called the “winter blues,” because the most common seasonal pattern is for depressive episodes to appear in the fall or winter and remit in the spring.” On the surface, it appears SAD can affect most people as we receive less daylight in the fall and winter and we all know Vitamin D plays a major role with our energy levels. Even during daylight hours, there are a lot more days of gray skies and unpleasant weather. Despite SAD affecting 10 million Americans, more commonly in women, “to be diagnosed with SAD, an individual must meet criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons for at least two years.” Still, many people can have the symptoms or have a mild version of SAD.Continue reading “Feeling SAD”