S....A....D, autumn & winter can be great times of the year depending on how you look at it, seasonal greetings, times off work, CHRISTMAS! We love to see it, but if you're like me the weather and sunlight deciding to bugger off at 16:30 is always enough to bring you down and diminish your motivation and mood. Despite the obvious fun of this time of the year seasonal affective disorder is a thing which unfortunately affects 3 in 100 people in the UK, In short S.A.D is basically a bout of seasonal depression that is mostly related with late autumn or winter, it is specifically triggered by the days getting shorter, and nights getting longer.
You see when the days get shorter, nights get longer what happens is it affects our circadian rhythm( this is essentially our natural responses to light and dark, when tampered with it causes behavourial and mental changes. Hence why during the winter times more people reportedly take time off work and call in sick when they dont need to, there's alot more to it that not being 'asked'
Now as Christmas is approaching it isn't so strange that a friend or family member may not be all that excited about it, with the weather and like i said the sudden change in our supply of sunlight there are a lot of people out there who couldn't care less, and that's perfectly fine, also with the unreliability of the governments stance on Christmas that just further worsens the case in regards to a person's mental health. However here are the definitive signs that one has SEASONAL . AFFECTIVE . DISORDER .#
DISCLAIMER: This is not here for diagnosis if you believe you have S.A.D try your best to reach out to a mental health professional so that you can get the adequate help you need.
Irregularity of sleeping patterns: When the clocks are turned back one hour for daylight savings what tends to happen is people find themselves sleeping more or sleeping less, again this is to with our circadian rhythm, and our melatonin and seratonin levels, this governs how we navigate sleep and waking up. At times the time changes basically disrupts our internal clocks causing our sleeping equilibrium to be off. I find there is a specific time in the year I oversleep the most. that is winter because I kid you not I dont like how pitch black it can be during sociable hours, so if it's dark I sleep in the dark. In a way it makes sense (not saying I have s.a.d) btw, but this is a very key symptom.
Change of Appetite: Due to the vast drop in seratonin levels our body begins to crave at times not the healthiest of foods, some may experience an extreme appetite for sugar or salt, or they actually may experience a loss of appetite, it all depends.
Loss of interest: Now there are many other signs which point to S.A.D, but the loss of interest to do things especially things you enjoy is one of the biggest tell tale signs.
How to combat this:
EAT HEALTHY: Try supplementing the junk with banana's and other fruits, especially banana's.
GO OUTDOORS: I say this all the time and it honestly works, even in winter, the outdoors is good for you.
CARDIO: Try jogging, cardio is proven to balance moods.
SEE A PROFESSIONAL: If at any time you feel this is becoming a serious issue contact a mental health professional who can give you practical tips on regulating your moods and seratonin levels in this season.