Seasonal Affective Disorder- Symptoms and Preventative Measures

1 in 20 People Suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Meaning Someone in your Class Right Now is Struggling with it.

SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a common problem around this time of year. The lack of sunlight, and not spending time outdoors can have major consequences. It’s normal to feel a bit down now that summer’s coming to an end, but SAD is more than that.

Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder start with  “vegetative symptoms” psychologists say, which means feeling distant and unmotivated, and craving carbs. Waking up becomes harder and being active is nearly impossible. These symptoms can progress to major depression without treatment.

Some simple ways to treat seasonal affective disorder include taking daily walks, spending time with your hobbies, and eating dark chocolate, which will give you a boost of serotonin. Make sure to include your pets in these activities as studies have shown 33% of dogs can also experience SAD.

Another simple treatment is sunlight-mimicking lamps that give your body vitamin D in the absence of sunlight. There are several of these lamps available on Amazon and in some stores. Make sure to do research before buying a lamp to ensure that you receive exactly what you want as some lamps have different features.

Of course, if you start to feel depressed at any time, but especially during these next few dark months, reach out to professionals and people you trust. Preventative measures like increasing sunlight and vitamin D, exercise, and doing your best to increase serotonin levels are great, but only do so much. If you struggle with SAD remember that you aren’t alone, because in the Northern US about 1 in 20 people struggle with seasonal affective disorder. 

Look out for yourself and others, and be watching for symptoms of SAD in yourself and your friends and family. 

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