Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Emotional Health in Winter Months
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Emotional Health in Winter Months – for many of us autumn and winter months are not a time to look forward to, with darker days and colder weather we can find ourselves experiencing low feelings or even Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Causes of SAD are not really known but it is suggested that reduced levels of sunlight may disrupt your bodies internal clock and cause a reduction in the production of serotonin. This is a brain chemical that helps to regulate mood. Both of these aspects can lead to experiencing SAD symptoms.
Sad Symptoms can include:
- Low mood and a loss of interest in everyday life
- Feeling despair guilt and worthlessness
- Feeling irritable and lethargic
- Sleeping longer
- Wanting carbohydrates
For more information on SAD symptoms and how it can be treated please follow this link to the NHS website. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
How can you help yourself?
If you think that you are suffering from SAD there are some proactive steps that you can take to support yourself through the winter months.
- Try to get as much sunlight as possible – go out for a daily walk, or have light therapy. (You can purchase special lamps that can replace lost sunlight) Not only will the light be beneficial, the exercise will have a positive impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing.
- Speak to your GP – your GP may be able to prescribe anti-depressants to help you deal with low feelings.
- Connect with friends – connecting with friends and family will have a positive impact on your wellbeing, it will also be likely to encourage you to find interest in things and to go out.
- Seek therapy – you may need professional support to help you deal with the symptoms of depression that you are experiencing. If you want to find a therapist you can look for someone local to you or who specializes in this area by searching the Counselling Directory.
Paul offers Psychotherapy and counselling, EMDR and Clinical Supervision. If you are struggling with SAD or any issue and would like to make an appointment with Paul please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can. For more information about Paul please take a look at the About Paul Page, Frequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page.
Useful online resources and articales about SAD
- Help Guide – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- The Bridge – Seasonal Affective Disorder
- BUPA – Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Royal Society of Psychiatrists -Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- The Mayo Clinic – Seasonal Affective Disorder
- John Hopkins – Seasonal Affective Disorder
- National Institute of Mental Health – Seasonal Affective Disorder
Useful Blogs on this website
- Plant Therapy Nature’s Impact on our Mental Health
- Exercise and Mental Health Developing a Practice
- The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature
- Getting Ready for Winter – 3 Tips for Coping with Shorter Days