Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): More Than ‘Winter Blues’

Research indicates that daylight saving time can increase the symptoms of seasonal depression for some people.” This discovery is unfortunate since daylight saving time occurs throughout the majority of the U.S. and Canada.

Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a “type of depression related to changes in seasons.” Typically symptoms begin in autumn and continue through winter. Even when people are aware of SAD, too many people chalk up their symptoms to “winter blues” and refrain from actively addressing those symptoms, which only increases the length and severity.

Signs & Symptoms of SAD

The Mayo Clinic lists signs and symptoms of SAD as follows:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

The Cleveland Clinic reports, “approximately half a million people in the United States suffer from winter SAD… three-quarters of the sufferers are women, and the depression usually starts in early adulthood,” although it can occur in children and adolescents. The SAD acronym finds its way into countless headlines this time of year. Yet, not everyone walks away from those articles understanding why the seasons’ change powerfully affects certain people. Luckily Healthline makes it simple to understand:

  1. “Our bodies have an internal clock, or circadian rhythm, that cycles us through daily periods of sleep and wakefulness.”
  2. “Our body clock is set based upon our exposure to sunlight.”
    • “When light enters our eyes, it sends the message to our brain that it’s time to wake up. When it’s dark outside, a hormonal signal is sent to our brain that it’s time to sleep.”
  3. “During the fall and winter, when the days are shorter, our body clock may become disrupted due to a lack of exposure to sunlight.”
    • “This can lead to the symptoms we know as seasonal depression.”

Refuse to Feel Less Than Your Best

Don’t ignore mood changes and decreased motivation for months at a time. From light therapy to EMPowerplus Advanced, a supplement that provides your body and brain with the nutrients it needs to support itself on a daily basis to keep you feeling balanced and stable, SAD symptoms can be minimized and relieved. Refuse to spend months every year feeling like less than your best.

Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach