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Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Luci Fardo

Hello Fall. I hope everyone is enjoying the change of the seasons. I love the leaves myself. After they are gone not so much. I among many of you out there have issues with the darker shorter days. That issue is known as #SAD or #seasonal affective disorder. If you suffer from it this can truly affect your health and others around you as well. I am trying to learn to love each season and think of a truly positive way to look at it. Sometimes I do too struggle. I want to help you as well as myself to learn more about dealing with this issue. Here are some signs that you or someone you love may struggle with #sad.


Signs that you may be depressed include:

  • a persistent low mood

  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities

  • feeling irritable

  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

  • low self-esteem

  • tearfulness

  • feeling stressed or anxious

  • a reduced sex drive

  • becoming less sociable

A small number of people will experience these symptoms in phases that are separated by "manic" periods where they feel happy, energetic and much more sociable.

Other symptoms

In addition to symptoms of depression, you may also:

  • be less active than normal

  • feel lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day

  • sleep for longer than normal and find it hard to get up in the morning

  • find it difficult to concentrate

  • have an increased appetite – some people have a particular craving for foods containing lots of carbohydrates and end up gaining weight as a result

These symptoms may make everyday activities increasingly difficult.

Things you can try yourself

There are a number of things you can do to help improve your symptoms:

  • try to get as much natural sunlight as possible – even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial

  • make your work and home environments as light and airy as possible

  • sit near windows when you're indoors

  • take plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight – read more about exercise for depression

  • eat a healthy, balanced diet

  • if possible, avoid stressful situations and take steps to manage stress

It can also be helpful to talk to your family and friends about SAD, so they understand how your mood changes during the winter. This can help them to support you more effectively.

I hope you have a happy fall season. I will try these things and I hope that you will do. Don't forget that there is always the option to tell your doctor if you need to. There is therapy and medications available.

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