SAD and Sunshine

There’s no question that winter months tend to get some people down.  Maybe even most people get what they refer to as cabin fever from time to time.  Millions of Americans suffer a known disorder in the medical community commonly referred to as SAD.  Seasonal Affective Disorder affects countless people across the globe every year.  Studies have shown that the further away you are from the equator the more likely you are to suffer from the disorder.

SAD also tends to be more common in women rather than men.  It isn’t clear why women suffer more from this other than possibly that men spend more time out of doors and exposed to sunlight more frequently than women do.  Especially in the winter months men are more commonly out of doors than their female counterparts.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of about 15 to 55 years old.  As you age it appears as though accruing symptoms from SAD become less and less common and by the time you reach your late 50’s you are far less likely to experience the disorder.

What does SAD feel like or how do I know what the symptoms are?

There are a few tell tale signs that you are experiencing the disorder but always check with your doctor before self diagnosing any health or mental condition.  Some of the signs may be that you are eating more carbs and having those cravings for sweets and starchy foods.  People often times lose interest in the places, people, things and activities that they normally find intriguing during sunnier months of the year.

With less activity and interaction with friends and family coupled with the carb consumption you may begin to gain weight.  Being cooped up and eating your sorrows away all while not exercising is a recipe for weight gain disaster.  Sometimes this type of eating we refer to as emotional eating.  Emotional eating is common in folks who experience SAD.

The main sign that you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder are that experience anxiety and moodiness.  You may feel depressed or more sad than usual and this can be a serious issue.

Also if you’ve been treated for depression in the past and notice that your symptoms are magnified in the winter months or that maybe you are just overall a happier person in the summer then you could have the disorder.

Sleeping is another habit of someone with the SAD.  The person may sleep more and more but still feels run down and groggy and can never seem to totally catch up on the rest you feel like you need.

Be careful in jumping to conclusions though.  In my opinion I think we all suffer from at least a little bit of this type of sadness.  Being locked in the house and away from friends and family while the weather is just blah tends to make you feel just that.  Blah

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