Seasonal Affective Disorder - or SAD as it’s more commonly known - is a clinical condition that occurs in particular seasons of the year.
While researchers have yet to identify a specific cause, it’s widely thought that decreased exposure to sunlight is a major contributor. Females are at higher risk of developing the disorder, as well as those who have a family history of depression.
According to Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day.
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
- Having low energy.
- Issues sleeping.
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- A feeling of hopelessness or guilt
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
The treatments for SAD are similar to those for depression and include antidepressants, therapy and emphasise photo or light therapy.
For information, support and guidance from mental health professionals, contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 187 263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org from 10am-10pm AEST. The SANE Online Forums at saneforums.org also provide a safe, free and anonymous online platform offering connection and support.