Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs during the same season every year. Most common is the winter depression, which begins at the end of autumn and lasts until the end of the winter. Many people feel tired and oppressed during the dark and cold winter days. They prefer to stay at home rather than walking outside, leading to social isolation.
It is most common among young women and people living in northern regions where the duration of the day in winter is shorter and the sunlight is less.
What are the reasons for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The exact cause of the occurrence of winter depression is unknown. Scientists suggest that the following factors matter:
- deterioration of the biological clock – reduced sunlight in the winter months affects the biological clock that controls sleep, mood and hormones.
- decreased serotonin – the levels of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, such as serotonin and dopamine, can be reduced due to the lack of sunlight.
- decreased melatonin – changing seasons may be a reason for lowering melatonin, which regulates the rhythm of sleep-waking, and full sleep is needed for good mood.
- vitamin D deficiency – Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a greater incidence of seasonal affective disorders and some other mental illness.
What are the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Those suffering from winter depression may have the following symptoms:
- feelings of sadnes
- increased appetite for pastries
- weight gain
- lack of interest in carrying out routine activities
Symptoms appear and disappear at the same time each year. The beginning is usually in October, and in April people feel much better. And these symptoms should be treated seriously as the condition may deteriorate and lead to problems in work and family, to social isolation. That is why you need the sunlight to feel happy. So it is a great time to turn on your pink salt rock lamp.