Seasonal Depression. Have you heard this term floating around this time of year?
Seasonal depression, often called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a depression that occurs each year at the same time, usually starting in fall, worsening in winter, and ending in spring. It is more than just "the winter blues" or "cabin fever." A rare form of SAD, known as "summer depression," begins in late spring or early summer and ends in fall.
Approximately half a million people in the United States suffer from winter SAD, while 10 to 20% may suffer from a more mild form of winter blues. Three-quarters of the sufferers are women, and the depression usually starts in early adulthood. SAD also can occur in children and adolescents. Older adults are less likely to experience SAD.
This illness is more commonly seen in people who live in cloudy regions or at high latitudes (locations farther north or south of the equator). Individuals who relocate to higher latitudes are more likely to be affected by SAD.
No one knows for sure what causes seasonal depression, but evidence and leading medical opinion lean strongly to the link betweeen changes in the availability of sunlight as a likely culprit. When your exposure to light is lessoned, your biological clock, circadian rythyms that regulate hormonal responses are all thrown out of whack. The melatonin naturally starts kicking in high gear when the sun goes down earlier and earlier. The temperature is cold, your jeans are stiff, Nose is numb. That makes the pull to cover up and Netflix and Chill look remarkably better than the gym, a salad, and diffusing of essential oils. I get it!
Some with seasonal disorder find refuge by
There are several things that can help, but these three quick things will help you take the biggest turn toward a new normal this time of year. You can add from here, but these three are the foundation.
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