Many of you may be thinking, Okay, here we are at the end of March and where is spring? “NO MORE SNOW, PLEASE!” You may want to scream!
A brutal winter increases the risk of seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is important to recognize the symptoms of SAD to prevent the disorder from developing into a more serious depression. SAD is a type of depression that develops in many people when the weather outside is cold and gray for a prolonged period of time. SAD may begin during adolescence or in adulthood. SAD is more common in women. Symptoms are similar to other forms of depression.
- Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more common with other forms of depression)
- Increased sleep (too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression)
- Less energy and ability to concentrate
- Loss of interest in work or other activities
- Sluggish movements
- Social withdrawal
- Unhappiness and irritability
SAD can sometimes become long-term depression if it goes untreated. Bipolar disorder or thoughts of suicide are also possible.
Often times people feel a decline in energy and motivation without even realizing that they are suffering from SAD. If you are experiencing the symptoms above, talk to your physician right away.
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This post was written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell, MEd., MSW, LCSW, the author of The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life. Available Now! Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Tina Del Buono says
I have an employee that use to suffer from SAD pretty seriously. He was a different person in the Winter. Once he understood why this was happening he took action to combat it. He began working out more and making himself be more social than he really wanted. Recently he purchased a lighting system for his home which will make the rooms brighter and more like daylight. This has really helped him during the darker months.
These are great tips, Tina. Thank you for sharing them!