Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or what is commonly known as, seasonal depression, is a significant shift in a person’s overall mood that affects how they feel, think, and handle daily activities. In most cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder signs & symptoms begin in the fall and go away in the spring & summer months; Seasonal Affective Disorder less commonly occurs during the summer months but still may.
SAD is a type of depression, characterized by its recurrent, seasonal, pattern, with symptoms lasting around 4-5 months per year.
Signs and Symptoms may include
- Continued feeling of sadness of depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed
- Changes in appetite; eating or craving more carbohydrates
- Decrease in energy, increase in fatigue (despite sleeping more)
- Inability to sit still or slowed movements
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- If you’re ever having thoughts of self-harm, please seek out help immediately; if anyone confides to you their thoughts/plans of self-harm or suicide take this seriously and get them help.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, new or on going please seek out help. Free counseling is available to all SWOSU students in the Center for Health & Wellbeing, located in the front of the Wellness Center (door is to the right of the front doors prior to entering the Wellness Center) The phone number for our office is (580) 774-3776 if you have any questions.
If you are experiencing any mixture of these symptoms and feel that you may benefit from a medication that would help to balance the body’s serotonin level The Center for Health & Wellbeing can refer you for medication eval with a Physician as well or you can speak with your private Dr if you choose.
(Serotonin – Is a hormone and occurs throughout the body, the intestines & brain produce serotonin and it is also found in blood platelets. FUN FACT - Serotonin is also present in animals, plants, and fungi).
Trying to increase the amount of time spent in the sunlight may help some with symptoms. Some studies also suggest taking a Vitamin D supplement may also decrease symptoms as well.
However, these studies highly recommended talking with a mental health professional or with your Dr regarding your symptoms.
American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2017, October 25). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Seasonal affective disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder