Feeling different and depressed with changing weather is not normal. Here is all you need to know about it.
Ever since the temperature has started decreasing, there have been several people around us who have shared their experience of feeling unusually depressed with the changes in the weather. With days becoming shorter, the darkness falling early during winters, their emotional cycle tends to alter and they happen to feel more depressed. Where a few complained about it, there is no acknowledgement to the fact that it can be a mental health disorder but it is.
A condition that occurs generally at the same time as every year, i. e., winters where people tend to be depressed with changing weather and the shortening of the day hours can be Seasonal Affective Disorder. The signs of SAD can be diverse and affect your mood, sleep, appetite, energy levels and can affect your social, professional and personal life. It can lead to feeling sad, stressed and hopeless and you might struggle and doubt your self-worth.
While there aren’t many theories that confirm the exact causes for SAD, several scientists say that certain hormones deep in the brain undergo altitude-related changes at this time of the year leading to SAD where another common explanation by experts suggests, that during winter, the lack of sunlight leads to the brain making less serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone. Another believed reason is that during winters, the lack of sunlight leads to the production of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone which can lead to symptoms of sadness and depression.
Point to remember
For SAD to be identified, there should be an observation of a periodic spell of sadness or depression every winter. One winter depression can be SAD.
How can you help yourself?
It is found that light affects the biological clock in our brain regulating the circadian rhythms, a function that can lead to mood swings with the lack of sunlight. To deal with it, the nature of full-spectrum sunlight can act as an antidepressant to trick the brain. Sitting with bright light (at least 20 times brighter than room lighting) for a session of 10-15 minutes per day, you may see some positive results.
Try to spend some time outside, even if it is cloudy, the sense of brightness adds to positivity.
Push yourself a bit and try exercising daily.
Eat a balanced diet.
Aroma Therapy – A good fragrance can add to positivity and help you deal with SAD. You can add some drops of essential oils in your bath during the night and can help in relaxation from SAD.
Seeking professional help
If you feel that you have your depressing spells at the same time as the winters periodically, discuss it openly with a mental health professional. They might prescribe you medication to balance the hormonal changes and can suggest some lifestyle changes.
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