What Do I Do About Seasonal Affective Disorder? (Best Psychiatrist in Bhopal)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that emerges in particular seasons of the year. Most people notice SAD symptoms starting in the fall and increasing during the winter months, but a few people experience a spring/summer version.
What are the most mutual symptoms of SAD?
SAD symptoms are the same criteria you’d need for a diagnosis of major depression. These might contain a depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep and appetite, a loss of pleasure in activities you once loved, and even thoughts of death or suicide. Persons with the winter version of SAD might also notice the following unique symptoms:
- Relationship problems
- Heaviness in arms and legs
- Frequent oversleeping
- Cravings for carbohydrates/weight gain
What causes SAD?
Researchers have yet to uncover the specific reason for SAD. We do know however, that several issues are at play. The reduction in sunlight in winter can throw your biological clock out of whack and reduce levels of serotonin and melatonin.
If you are young and female, you are also at increased risk for SAD. People who live farther from the equator or have a family history of depression also experience the symptoms more frequently.
What treatments might work for me?
With any mental health problem, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Here are a few options to explore with your doctor.
Medication – Antidepressants have proven to be effective for people with SAD, particularly those with intense symptoms. Medication necessitates patience, because it can take several weeks before you begin to feel the effects. It’s also significant not to stop taking the medication if you feel better. Consult with your doctor before you change your dosage, and let him or her know if you experience any side effects.
Psychotherapy – Talk therapy can be an invaluable option for those with SAD. A psychotherapist can help you recognize patterns in negative thinking and behaviour that impact depression, learn positive ways of coping with symptoms, and institute relaxation techniques that can help you restore lost energy.
Light therapy – Phototherapy involves exposing oneself to light via a special box or lamp. This device produces similar effects to natural light, triggering chemicals in your brain that help regulate your mood. This treatment has proven effective especially for those who experience the winter version of SAD. Don’t make an impulse buy on the Internet though, as it’s significant to consult with your doctor first. You want to make sure you’ve purchased an effective and safe device.