We all know that winter brings colder temperatures. What can those cold temperatures bring? The winter blues. Also known as “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD, the winter blues affect more than 10 million people. Another 10-20% of Americans suffer from a milder form of SAD. What are the signs of seasonal affective disorder? Symptoms of SAD can include difficulty concentrating, changes in mood (especially feeling depressed), level of energy, appetite/weight, ability to sleep, and memory.
The specific cause of SAD is still not completely clear. However, the reduced amount of sunlight can decrease the amounts of serotonin and melatonin. Those are chemicals in our bodies which regulate mood and and sleep. According to one study, 53% of people who suffered a traumatic brain injury suffered depression afterwards. SAD is a subdivision of depression, so it’s possible that SAD can affect TBI patients. How can you cope with seasonal affective disorder?
Tips for Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder:
No matter the severity of your symptoms, the winter blues (or SAD) is not something to take lightly and it’s important to take action. Depending on the severity of SAD, begin by implementing the tips above to see if they result in any improvement. If there is no change, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. If left untreated, seasonal affective disorder can lead to alcoholism, depression, and in extreme cases can even lead to suicidal thoughts. If at any time you or someone you know experiences thoughts of suicide or self-harm, click here or call 1-800-273-8255 to get help immediately.
Posted on January 17 2018 in Blog