Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a very common type of depression that usually affects a person during the same season each year, though it is not always the same season for every person. However, most people suffer from SAD in the winter. You can tell that you have SAD if you are visibly depressed more so during one seasons. For example, if you are terribly depressed and do not want to get out of bed for the majority of the winter and then you feel a lot better when springtime rolls around, you probably suffer from SAD.
SAD is most common in parts of the world in which the day is very short during the winter. Daylight is very important in determining the moods of some people, and because of that, many people suffer greatly from the fact that there is not much daylight during the winter. SAD is reported to be very common in many Scandinavian countries because of this.
Also, women suffer from SAD a lot more than men do, according to the most recent studies. Younger people are also a lot more likely to suffer from SAD than older people. People between the ages of 15 and 55 most often suffer from this condition, and it is very rare to find an elderly person that has problems with SAD. Also, if a person has a close relative that suffers from SAD, then they are more likely to suffer from SAD as well.
So the main question is – what is it exactly that causes SAD? And the answer is that experts are not entirely sure what causes the depressive disorder. However, most experts believe that there is a direct correlation between SAD and a lack of sunlight. There are many reasons for this. As stated earlier, sunlight is a very vital factor in a person’s life. The way the sun comes down and goes up can definitely have an effect on a person’s sleep cycle, and the general rhythm of the body is also very much linked to the cycles of the sun. Sunlight also stimulates the brain and helps the brain to produce the chemical serotonin, which is intrinsically linked to a person’s mood in many cases.
So what are the symptoms of SAD? If you have SAD, well, you often feel very sad. You also probably have a lot of mood swings and can be very irritable. People who have said often function normally during most of the year, but then during the season that affects them, they lose interest in all of their usual activities. They might begin to slack at school or at work, and usually they will lose interest in relationships and other social activities as well during that season. It has also been shown that people who have SAD often crave a lot more carbohydrates at that point. Therefore many people gain a lot of weight when they are experiencing SAD because they are constantly craving the so-called bad carbs that come with pasta and bread. Most people who have SAD will start experiencing the symptoms in October or even as early as September. The symptoms usually subside around April or May.