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  • Candice Williams

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter is here

We are officially in the fourth quarter.

The final countdown of 2019.

I feel like this year has flown by faster than usual.

Am I the only one that thinks this?

Although the end of the year symbolizes the festive season, for some it may be the worst time of year.

With temperatures dropping, the hours of sunlight becoming shorter and the weather changing, this may impact our wellbeing.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during the winter season.

Symptoms include low mood, feelings of guilt and despair, lacking energy, loss of pleasure and sleeping for longer than normal. For some, symptoms may be severe interrupting daily activities.

This is caused by multiple factors such as a lower production of serotonin with is a hormone that affects your mood. During the winter months the lack of sunlight could cause lower serotonin production which is linked to feelings of depression. In addition, individuals may be predisposed to SAD due to genetics and a family history of depression.

There are many different types of treatment available to treat SAD:

• Get as much exposure to natural sunlight as possible. As the days are shorter, it may be worth waking up a little earlier to get access to as much sun as possible

• Doctors may recommend antidepressant medication such as SSRIs depending on the severity of symptoms. Perhaps try to make lifestyle changes first and if nothing else works please consult your doctor!!

• Change your diet, health is wealth! You want to make sure you are having a balance diet with enough fruit and veg in your meals in order to obtain all your vitamins necessary for maintenance and growth.

• Exercise helps to manage your stress levels so it would be ideal to take part in some form of physical activity every day

• Talking therapies are also an effective way of combating SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy

aims to help patients manage your problems by altering the way you behave and think.

Aside from treatment, it is essential to focus on your self care.

Run a bath, meditate, write in a journal, find a healthy way of offloading.

I know it is difficult opening up to others regarding your problems but by speaking up you may in turn be helping others by helping yourself!

Take care of yourself.

I am wishing you all the best for the new year.

The best is yet to come.

Thanks for reading.