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What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Know About Causes And Risks Latest update


Last Updated: January 07, 2023, 19:44 IST

People with SAD start to experience symptoms from autumn and they continue till the winter months.

People with SAD start to experience symptoms from autumn and they continue till the winter months.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression, which is linked to changes in seasons.

Winters have caused temperatures to drop to the single-digit in several parts of India. This has made it difficult for some people to get out of their beds. But what if we told you that winter blues were not just a made-up word for the gloomy feeling but a real disorder? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression, which is linked to changes in seasons. SAD happens at about the same time every year. People with SAD start to experience symptoms from autumn and they continue till the winter months. However, sometimes, they may also start experiencing the symptoms around spring or summer.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of SAD may be mild at first, but they may become more and more severe as the season progresses. Some symptoms to identify SAD include:

Having low energy and feeling sluggish

Difficulty in concentrating

Feeling hopeless and guilty

Sleeping too much

Carb cravings, overeating and weight gain

Feeling sad and gloomy throughout the day

There are some symptoms that are specific to winter and autumn too. Oversleeping, appetite changes, especially a craving for high-carb foods, weight gain and tiredness are some of the symptoms that people with Seasonal Affective Disorder experience during winter. On the other hand, spring and summer SAD symptoms include insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, anxiety and increased irritability.

While there is no specific cause for Seasonal Affective Disorder in people, some of the possible causes are circadian rhythm changes, a drop in serotonin levels and an imbalance in melatonin levels. The risk factors include a family history of SAD, having depression and bipolar disorder, low levels of Vitamin D and living far from the equator.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can reduce your efficiency at work. It may cause people to be addicted to drugs and even lead to additional mental health disorders, such as anxiety or eating disorders.

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