S.A.D seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression, and one in a hundred suffer from it.
S.A.D Seasonal affective Disorder
What is S.A.D.
S.A.D is a seasonal disorder in which people suffer during the winter months.
It is a type of depression, and can affect your sleep patterns, energy levels, mood and your eating habits.
One in a hundred suffer from this, and it is known that the further away from the equator you live the more chances that people will suffer from it as there is fewer daylight hours.
Symptoms of S.A.D
S.A.D gets worse in the winter months because of the grey, dull damp weather, and because the daylight hours are less.
Symptom's of this illness can vary from person to person and it also depends on how severe the person has got it too.
Some of the signs of having S.A.D are -
Low mood during the day
Feeling tired and lethargy
Needing more sleep, and sleeping for longer hours,
Eating more than usual,
Craving for carbohydrate.
loss of interest in sex.
Loss of interest in hobbies and going out.
In more severe cases, thought of suicide or self harm can take place.
If you suffer with any of these symptoms in the winter and they last longer than a week or more then its best to get checked out by your G.P
Causes of S.A.D
There is really no exact causes for people to suffer this, and is not really understood.
All that is really known is, it is a winter Illness, and lack of daylight has something to do with it.
Hypothalamus which is part of the brain, that affects sleep, appetite and mood, needs light to stimulate it, but people that have S.A.D This doesn't work as certain brain chemicals and hormones prevents the Hypothalamus from functioning properly.
Serotonin is another brain chemical, which uplifts your moods gives you the happy factor, and makes you want to do things, but people that suffer with S.A.D have low levels of this in the winter, and because this is missing in the winter it makes the sufferer feel low, and tired.
Melatonin is another chemical that slows the body clock down, and affects sleeping as well as mood patterns.
People with S.A.D seem to have more of this hormone than people without S.A.D, there is a drug which can suppress the secretion but it wont stop the symptoms of S.A.D.
How to Diagnose S.A.D
If you have the symptoms of the S.A.D you need to go to the doctors to get check out, they will ask you about your life, and your symptom's.
The doctor wont be able to tell straight away if it is S.A.D or if it is depression, you have to have the symptoms for two or three years running before they can properly diagnose you.
The symptoms should go in the spring/summer and if they are still there then it could be depression you have got.
Treatments for S.A.D
It is mainly self help,
Sit near windows as much as possible
Try to go for a walk everyday,
Eat a well balanced diet
Take regular exercise,
Don't put yourself under too much stress,
Learn to relax Meditation can help with this.
Try day light, light bulbs, or S.A.D lamps.
Your doctor may suggest antidepressants, but if you can fight it in a natural way then it is better for you.
If you are living with someone who suffers with S.A.D be patient with them and try to understand them and what they are going through.
To another person the person will look like they are lazy, and have given up but this is not the case at all!
It is hard to fight the symptoms and people with it needs a lot of support.
The way I have found best to cope with it, is to push myself to do things even when i really haven't got the energy, as laying in bed all day can and will make it worse.
I go out for walks along the beach or in the parks, as much as I can, and mix with people, eat sensibly and think positive.