As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, people with seasonal affective disorder can experience an increase in depression. There is no clear cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but many specialists agree that lack of sunlight and shorter days may contribute. How do you know if you’re experiencing SAD, and what should you do about it?
Symptoms of SAD can include increased sleep, social withdrawal, grouchiness and anxiety, fatigue, decreased ability to focus, increased appetite, and loss of interest in activities formerly enjoyed. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be facing seasonal affective disorder. So what should you do?
Some common ways to help ease these symptoms are:
- Exposure to sunlight – spend time outside or near a window.
- Spend time with other people, confide in someone you trust.
- Get regular exercise.
- Do things you typically enjoy. Even if you’ve lost interest in an activity, try to partake in it anyway.
- Seat realistic goals; don’t take on too much.
Get help! It’s okay if these tips don’t work for you. Getting in touch with a healthcare provider is always an option and may be the best way to address your symptoms and improve. Don’t wait to reach out to your healthcare provider – if you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, make an appointment!