Some say that winter makes them feel gloomy. The weather wouldn't only be the reason for this. It can be their mental health too
Depression is a rising concern among the people of today. As per WHO, the statistics till March 2018 displayed that globally more than 264 million people are affected due to depression. Also, it is a start for many diseases. Also, the WHO states that more women cases of depression are found than men. However, as we all know, several disorders can be termed under the umbrella term of depression. One such name is a seasonal disorder or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In simpler terms, SAD is characterised as a fixed time of getting depressed in a year. It is more of a pattern where the person experiences sadness and depression every year at the same time. It is common for people to attribute their low mood and self-esteem to the weather, but it is more than just the weather.
As per Mayo Clinic, SAD should not be taken as any other reason to term their mental condition as 'winter blues'. It is essential to understand the pattern by knowing what SAD does to you. Like any other mental disorder, SAD has some specific symptoms that enable a psychiatrist, or a concerned doctor understands the mood disorder. Apart from general sadness, aloofness, loss of appetite and the zeal to live, listed below are some physical symptoms:
- Heaviness in the body
- Sudden changes in appetite
- Problems in adjusting to situations
- Long hours of sleeping than usual
SAD is a Type Of Depression
Even though depression has a whole other meaning, but SAD is a subtype of depression. Those suffering from SAD have seasonal symptoms. Their symptoms depend on a particular season and start to subside with time with the transition of the season. SAD is also equally prevalent in people with a family history of depression. In such a case, some questions to self can help analyse your condition. Some basic questions can be:
- Why is my appetite changing?
- Why am I tired all the time?
- Why is my weight fluctuating?
- Why don't I feel the need of meeting people for merriment?
- I don't feel like having physical intercourse. Why?
- I am irritated all the time.
If the solution to all of these sum out to be social aloofness, you need to ring the bell to your doctor soon to understand ways to get out of this disorder.
How To Treat SAD?
While going to a doctor looking for a respite from seasonal depression, one should be open to the approach that the doctor might take for treatment. It is natural for those suffering from the seasonal disorder to take time to open up, but it is in the interest of self to openly trust the doctor's instinct when it comes to treating SAD. Following are some common treatment options of seasonal disorders:
- Light Therapy: Also known as the phototherapy, this helps in filling the void of daily sunlight. In this, the patient is exposed to bright light, just the same as natural sunlight. This helps in lesser secretion of melatonin, making you feel more active.
- Behavioural Therapy: This therapy is done by a therapist where the patient is reminded of everything good to remove negative thoughts from his/her mind. This comes to be an effective treatment option when the patient strikes a comfort level with the therapist.
- Medication: In severe cases, some therapists or doctors may also suggest several drugs. These are basic antidepressants that help in managing the level of serotonin to reduce the symptoms of SAD.
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