In the fall, a chill settles over the air, the leaves turn, and sunny days disappear. The joy of the season is dampened by dark days, cold nights, and shorter days.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a common disorder affecting millions of people in the United States each year. SAD is often known as the winter blues.
The winter dark and grey days can make people feel low. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects about 10 to 15 percent of Europeans. It is most common in countries south of the equator. Most people recover from it within a few months. The symptoms of SAD include a loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, irritability, fatigue, and a tendency to oversleep. You may feel sleepy during the day. You may feel depressed and hopeless. The winter blues are different from ordinary sadness. They come and go. With SAD they last longer and affect you more often. Try doing the following:
1. Keep a regular routine. Eat regular meals, go to bed and get up at the same time every day
2. Get outside every day, even on grey days
4. Go to bed at the same time each night, even on weekends
5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
6. Avoid too much nicotine
7. Avoid too much sugar
8. Get as much sunlight as possible
9. Try to get outside every day
10. Avoid screens, especially in the evening
It’s not unusual to feel depressed during the dark winter months. A drop in sunlight and shorter days may make you feel down. This can lead to feelings of isolation, and hopelessness. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as winter depression, typically occurs during late fall, winter, and early spring and affects approximately 10 million Americans. While SAD is not caused by depression, it is related to it. People with SAD may also have other mood disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar, or mania.